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These Lectures are published at the request of the 
Senatus Academicus of the University of Edinburgh 
N T in agreement with the terms of the Gifford Bequest. 
Further, they explain themselves. 






Introductory — Lord Gilford — The bequest — The lectureships — God 
really all iu all to Lord Gifford — The lecturers — Natural theo- 
log3 r the only science — The immediate lecturer — The three 
Churches — Feeling — Understanding — ■ Both — Intolerance — 
Reason as reason — The positive — Rationalism — Aufklarung — 
"Advanced" views — The temper of the time — Tom Paines of 
the tap — No - God men — "What is really the new — The pre- 
judice against belief — Duty of philosophy now — Sacred books — 
Those of the Hebrews — Discrepancies — Buckle, Hume, Voltaire 
— Historical anachronism, ....... 3-20 



Natural theology, what is it ? — Usual answers — Hutcheson — Varro 
— The Middle Ages — Raymund of Sebonde — Rays, Paleys, etc. 
— Till 1860 — Since — Philosophies of religion — Pagan gods — De 
I ^uincey, Augustine, Cicero, Pliny, Juvenal, Herodotus, Aulas 
Gellius — The proofs historically treated — That the theme — 
Plotinus, Augustine — Natural theology not possibly a physical 
science — Understanding and faith, Augustine, Anselm — 
Monotheism alone religion proper — The course, affirmative, 
negative — China, India, Colebrooke, Ras bihari Mukharji — 
Hindu texts (Gnostics)— Hesiod, 21-40 





Final causes— The four Aristotelian causes— Are there final causes 
in nature— Matter and form— Other causes only to realize the 
final causes— Cudworth— Adam Smith— The proofs, number, 
order, etc.— Teleology— Anaxagoras— Socrates in the Phsedo— 
Xenophon— Plato— Socrates on Anaxagoras — The causes to- 
gether, concrete — "Abstract" — Forces, Clerk Maxwell — 
Heraclitus — Newton — Buckle — Descartes — Gassendi — Bacon on 
causes, metaphysics, and forms — The voZ; (nous) of Anaxagoras — 
Bacon on design — Eeid, Newton, Hume on design— Newton, 41-59 



Anaxagoras, the vovs — Aristotle — Understanding — Pythagoreans — 
Pantheism— Lord Gifford — Baghavad Gita — The vov; to Socrates, 
Plato, Aristotle — Grote, Schwegler, Zeller — The world a life — 
Berkeley, Cudworth, Plato, Zorzi — Subject and object — Nature 
and thought — Externality and internality — Bruno — Universal 
and particular — Spinoza — Physical theories — Space and time — 
Hodgson, Carlyle, Berkeley, Reid, Leibnitz, Kant — But for an 
eye and an ear, the world utterly dark, utterly silent, . 60-78 



Astronomy, space, time, the vauj— Kant, Fichte, Schilling— Carlyle, 
the Sartor — Emerson — Plato — Aristotle— A beginning — The 
want of eye and ear again — Deafness and blindness together 
— Design restored — Thomson — Diogenes of Apollonia — Socrates 
— Meteorology and practical action — Morality and ethicality — 
The first teleological argument — Proofs of design — Bacon — 
Socrates finally, 79-96 



Plato — His position — His prose — Indebted to Socrates — Monotheism 
— The popular gods — Socrates' one principle— His method — 
Universalized by Plato — Epinomis — The Tlrnaens— The eyes, 
etc. — Kant here — Subject and object — Mechanical and final 



causes— The former only for the latter— Identity and difference 
—Creation, the world— Time and eternity— The Christian 
Trinity— The two goods— Religion, the Laws— Prayer— Super- 
stition— Hume, Dugald Stewart, Samuel Johnson, Buckle— The 
Platonic duality— Necessity and contingency — Plato's work, 97-114 



Sophists— Aufklarung — Disbelief, Simon of Tournay, Amairich of 
Bena, David of Dinant — Italian philosophers, Geneva Socinians, 
Bacon, Hobbes, the Deists, Locke, Descartes, Spinoza — Hume, 
Gibbon — Germany, Reimarus, etc.— Klopstock, Lavater — Less- 
ing, Hanmim, Herder, Jacobi — Goethe, Schiller, Jean Paul — 
Carlyle — France — Kant and his successors — Necessary end of 
such movements — Cosmological argument — Locke, Clarke, Leib- 
nitz — Aristotle — Dependency— Potentiality and actuality — A 
beginning — Aristotle and design — Mr. Darwin's mistake — Em- 
pedocles and the survival of the fittest, .... 115-134 



Aristotle and design— Matter and form — Abstraction — Trinity— The 
ascent — The four causes — A first mover — Lambda of the Meta- 
physic — The hymn of Aristotle — Speculation — Mankind— 
Erdmann — Theory and practice — Nature — Kant, Byron, lime. 
de Genlis — Aristotle's ethic and politic — God — Cicero — Time — 
Design— Hume, Buffon— Plato and Aristotle— Immanent Div- 
inity and transcendent Deity— Schwegler— Bonitz— The soul- 
Unity — Homer — The Greek movement up to Aristotle, Biese — 
The Germans and Aristotle— Cuvier, Owen, Franzius, Johann 
von Muller — Darwin — Aristotle in conclusion, . . . 135-156 



The Sects— The Skeptics— The Epicureans— Epicurus— Leucippus 
and Democritus— Aristotle, Plato— Stoics, Pantheism— Chry- 
sippus— Origin of evil— Antithesis — Negation— Epictetus — The 
Neo-Platonists — Important six hundred years — Course of his- 



analogy — The supreme cause not situated as other causes — 
other principles, vegetation, generation — The world an animal 
— The Empedoclean expedient — The effect only warrants great 
power, not Almighty power — Evil — Free opinion — Hume's 
friends ■ Epicurus's dilemma — Superstition results — Four 
suggestions — No pain — Special volitions — Greater strength — 
Extremes banished from the world— Creation on general prin- 
ciples — Erasmus Darwin — Mr. Froude, Carlyle — Finitude as 
such, externality as such — Antithesis — Charles V. — Abdal- 
rahman III. — Septimius Severus — Johnson — Per contra — 
Wordsworth, Gibbon, Hume — Work, Carlyle — The trades — 
• !( imparison — Self-contradiction — Identity — Hegel — "As re- 
gards Protoplasm " — The Hindoos — Burton on cause — Sir John 
Herschel — Brown, Dugald Stewart — Spinoza — ■ Erdmann — 
Notions and tilings, Erigena — Rabelais — Form and matter — 
1 1 ume in conclusion, ....... 265-285 



Transition, Hume to Kant — Effect of Kant on natural theology 
—The centre of Kant's thought — Hume led to this — Causal 
necessity — That necessity objective — Still in matters of fact — 
Relations of ideas — Hume on one side, Kant on the other, of the 
dilemma — Hume quite as Reid, on natural necessity — But what 
the explanation to intellectual insight — Synthetic addition — 
Analytic implication — Change — Kant's explanation is, There 
are a priori syntheses native to the mind — The whole Kantian 
machinery in a sentence — Time and space — The twelve cate- 
gories and the three ideas — A toy house — A peculiar magic 
lantern — A psychology — A metaphysic — Analysis of the 
syllogism for the ideas — Simple apprehension missed — An idea 
—The ideal— The teleological proof, .... 286-304 


KANT AND THE PROOFS (concluded). 

The cosmological proof — Contingency — Ab alio e.sse and esse a se — 
The special contingency an actual fact in experience — This 
Kant -would put out of sight — Jehovah — Two elements in 
the argument, experience and ideas — The generality of the 
experience — Also of the idea — Contingency is a particular 


empirical fact — Ens realissimum — Onlythe ontological argument 

in disguise — Logical inference — But jusl generally the all- 
necessarv being of such a world — Hume anticipated Kant — 
Why force analogy — Why transcend nature — No experience of 
such cause, which must not exceed the effect— Hume's early 
memoranda— The "nest" — All Kant dependent on his own 
constanl sense of school-distinctions — His entire world — The 
system being true, what is true ? — The ontological argument — 
No thinking a thing will bring it to be — "What it all comes to, 
the single threefold wave — Hegel — Middle Age new from 
Augustine to Tauler — Meister Eckhart — Misunderstanding of 
mere understanding — The wickedest then a possible divine 
reservoir — Adam Smith and the chest of drawers — Absurd f"i 
Kant to make reason proper the "transcendent shine" — Tin- 
Twelfth Night cake, hut the ehrliche Kant, . . . 305-322 



The three degrees, positive, comparative, superlative in negation of 
the proofs, or Hume, Kant, Darwin — The Life and Letters of 
Charles Darwin, chapter viii. of the first volume — Darwin one 
of the best of men — Design — Uniformity and law— Darwin's 
own words — He himself always gentle — But resolute to 
win — Concessiveness — Religious sentiment — Disbelief — Jokes — 
Natural selection being, materialism is true, and ideas are only 
derivative — The theory — A species what — Sterility — What 
suggested natural selection to Darwin — Bakewell's achievements 
as a breeder — Darwin will substitute nature for Bakewell, to the 
production, not of new breeds, but, absolutely, of new species — 
His lever to this, change by natural accidenl and chance : such 
warily proving either advantageous, disadvantageous, oi 
indifferent — Advantage securing in the struggle for life survival 
of the fittest, disadvantage entailing death and destruction, 
indifference being out of count — The woodpecker, the mi 
— But mere variation the very fulcrum— Variation must be, and 
consequences to the organism must he: hence thewholi Bu1 
never design, only a mechanical pullulation of differences by 
chance that simply prom advantageous or disadvantageou . 
— Conditions— Mr. Huxley— Effed of the announcements of 
Sir Joseph Hooker and Sir Charles Lyell— Mr. Darwin insists 
on his originality — His difficulties in winning his way 
these who agree with him, as Lyell, Hooker, and others, he 



demurs to their expressions: they fail to understand— Mr. 
Darwin's own qualms — "What makes a tuft of feathers come 
on a cock's head, or moss on a moss-rose ? " — That the question 
—Still spontaneous variation both universal and constant, 323-342 


daravin and design (continued). 

The theory — Individual variation — Darwin early looked for natural 
explanation of design— Creation, its senses— Antisthenes, Cole- 
brooke, Cudworth — Creative ideas — Anaxagoras — Aristotle — 
Mr. Clair Grece and Darwin — For design Mr. Darwin offers a 
mechanical pullulation of individual difference through chance, 
but with consequent results that as advantageous or dis- 
advantageous seem concerted — The Fathers — Nature the pheno- 
menon of the noumenon, a boundless externality of contingency 
that still is a life — Nature, the object will only be when it 
reaches the subject — That object be, or subject be, both must 
be — Even the crassest material particle is already both 
elementarily — As it were, even inorganic matter possesses 
instincts — Aristotle, design and necessity — Internalization — 
Time space, motion, matter — The world — Contingency — A 
perspective of pictures— The Vestiges and evolution — Darwin 
deprecates, genealogies, but returns to them — The mud-fish — 
Initial proteine — There are so many mouths to eat it up now 
— Darwin recants his pentateuchal concession to creation — 
Depends on "fanciers and breeders" — The infinitudes of 
transition just taken by Mr. Darwin in a step — Hypothesis — 
Illustration at random — Difference would go on to difference, 
not return to the identity — Mr. Lewes and Dr. Erasmus — The 
grandfather's filament — Seals — The bear and the whale — Dr. 
Erasmus on the imagination, on weeping, on fear, on the 
tadpole's tail, on the rationale of strabismus, . . . 343-362 


darwin and design (continued). 

Dr. Erasmus Darwin — Student scribbles on Zoonomia — Family 
differences, attraction and repulsion — The Darwins in this 
respect — Dr. Erasmus of his sons, Mr. Charles and Dr. R. W. — 
Dr. R. W. as to his sons — Charles on his grandfather, father, 
brother — Mr. Erasmus on his brother's book — On the a priori 
— On facts— Darwin's one method — Darwin and Hooker on 



facts — Family politics — Family religion — Family habits- 
Family theories— .Mr. Darwin's endowments — His Journal — 
The Zoonomia — Theories of Dr. Erasmus — l'aley — Instinct— 
An idea to Dr. E. — Dugald Stewart — Picture-thinking— 
Dr. E.'s method— Darwin's doubts — His brave spirit— The 
theory to his friends— Now— Almost every propos of the grand- 
son has its germ in the grandfather (Krause) — Yet the position 
of the latter— Byron on— Mr. Lewes also— The greater Newton, 
original Darwinism now to be revived — Dr. E. admirable on 
design -Charles on cats made by God to play with mice!— 
Dr. E. on atheism— The apology — P»ut will conclude with a 
single point followed thoroughly out : the Galapagos — Darwin 
held to be impregnably fortified there— The Galapagos thrown 
up to opponents at every turn — But we are not naturalists ! — 
Dr. E. rehabilitates us — Description of the Galapagos from 
the Journal — The islands, their size, number, position, 
geographical and relative— Depth of water and distance between 
— Climate, currents, wind — Geology, botany, zoology — Vol- 
canoes, dull sickly vegetation, hills, craters, lava, pits, heat, 
salt-pools, water— Tortoises, lizards, birds— Quite a region to 
suggest theory, ........ 363-381 


DAKWIN AMI DESIGN — (conclusion). 

The action— South American types, left here to themselves, change 
into new species from accumulation of their own individual 
spontaneous differences— The birds — Differences in the times 
and modes of arrival between land and sea birds — Carte and 
tierce— Contradiction — Parried by a word — An advocate's proof 
—The printer and Mr. Darwin's wordda— The sea-gull— The 
finches— Sir William Jardine— The process to Darwin— What 
was to him "a new birth" — Where the determinative advant- 
age for these different beaks — The individual central islands not 
incommunicably separate — French birds at Dover— Isolation — 
Ex-contrario— Individual difference the single secret, that is 
the "law " which has been " discovered " of " natural selection " 
—Apply influence of external conditions to the Galapagos- 
Kant— The Galapagos rat and mouse— New beings but yet the 
old names— If difference goes always on only to difference 
without return to identity, why are there not infinitely more 
species ?— Bowen — Darwin only empedoclean — Parsons — Lyell 
— Ministers (giants ami dwarfs) sterile— Frederick's grenadiers, 



the pygmies — Divergent species at home — The Galapagos but 
the Mr. Jorkins of the Darwinians — The tortoise, where did 
it come from ? — The amblyrhyncus similarly inexplicable — 
Lizards of the secondary epoch — The Galapagos Islands ab- 
solutely without a vestige of the struggle for life in any 
direction— The breeder, and nature, can act only on what is 
already there — The breeder deals in identity, not difference, 
and his breeds would all turn back to the original — No breeder 
a new species — Nature acts not on Darwin's method, but design 
— Toothed birds, the hipparion, the otter-sheep — Accidental 
individual difference to be the sole creator in the end of all 
that enormous and infinitely complicated concert to unity ! — 
Farewell, 382-400 

Index, 401 





Introductory — Lord Gifford— The bequest — The lectureships — God 
really all in all to Lord Gifford — The lecturers — Natural theo- 
logy the only science — The immediate lecturer — The three 
( 'hurches — Feeling — Understanding — Both — Intolerance — 
Reason as reason— The positive — Rationalism— Aufklarung— 
" Advanced " views — The temper of the time — Tom Paim-s 
of the tap — No-God men — What is really the new — The 
prejudice against belief — Duty of philosophy now — Sacred 
books — Those of the Hebrews — Discrepancies — Buckle, Hume, 
Voltaire — Historical anachronism. 

Mr. Principal and Fellow-Students, — The first word 
that is due from a man in my position is necessarily one 
of thanks. I owe it to the Senatus of this University 
respectfully to tender it my best thanks for the high 
honour it has done me in electing me to the distinguished 
office of its first Gifford Lecturer. 

Again, a word is no less due from me in respectful 
acknowledgment of the rare liberality and signal generosity 
of him who disinterestedly sought to bestow what best 
boon he could think of for the public, in the founding of 
this and the other University lectureships which bear 
his name. 

I have had but few opportunities of acquaintanceship 
with the late Lord Gifford. I have, however, met him 
over the dinner-table and elsewhere; and 1 could not 
but like what I saw in him. He had eminently the 


bearing of an honourable gentleman who held In'-; own 
ground With a smile, there was humour on the mouth; 
hut there was at the same time a look of shrewdness in 
viih a certain firm stability of the chin and the 
whole countenance, that intimated as plainly as anywords 
could: I am >le, open, willing ; but, have a care 

that you neitb «ed Eewa ,loyal, 

. generous in his affirmation of merit- but neither 
r nor unjust in his negation of demerit and insuffici- 
He was good-natured: he could listen to what 
it of place, or doubtfully off even, in a per- 

sonal regard, and keep silence with a smile on his Lips. 
That he was skilful and successful as a lawyer ; esteemed, 
sted, honoured as a judge, — that is a matter of public 
.lir.ion. To me if. belongs rather to noteth 
a lover of books. The houi 
he spent with the writings of his favourite autl 
foremost among whom were the 

ttion : and, of them all, that it was Emerson for 
whom, perhaps, he entertained specially a predilection, 
vouches for hi J Hither, no 

we know that not philosophy only, hut reli 
at his heart, and mu tituted there a 

familiar theme of and persistent mi m. I 

did not think of that then as I met him often in 
about Granton. I did not think of that then as I 
hirn trailing I. alytic limbs along, but hold- 

ing his head bi .d looking imperturbably b 

him, as, within his ope;. still placed a broad chest, 

as it were, in front of all the accident-, of time. That, 
in these oirc the impre-sion he 

.-. me. Ik: was for months 
confined to the ho . fch ; but, doubtl 

in these walks at that time he was meditating th. 
'. that is tl don of our being at pre tther. 


And to that bequest it is now my duty to turn ; for, 
clearly, the very first necessity of the case is to know 
what that service specially is which the Testator expected 
to be rendered to the University and the public in return 
for his own munificence. 

1 have Bpoken of Lord Gilford as pondering in his 
mind what best boon lie could find it within his power 
to bestow upon the public ; and about the very first 
words of the Extracts from his Trust Disposition and 
Settlement bear me out in this. " I, having fully and 
maturely considered my means and estate, and the modes 
in which my surplus funds may be most usefully and 
beneficially expended, and considering myself bound to 
apply part of my means in advancing the public welfare 
and the cause of truth : " from these words it is plain 
thai Lord Gifford, finding himself in possession of what 
appeared to him more than was necessary for the satis- 
faction and fulfilment of all his private duties, claims, 
wishes, or intentions, felt himself in presence with the 
rest of a public burden which he was bound to discharge. 
How, for the public welfare and the cause of truth, that 
could be most usefully and beneficially effected, was the 

next thought. And so, as he says further, " being of 

opinion that 1 am bound if there is a ' residue ' as so ex- 
plained, to employ it, or part of it, for the good of my 
fellow-men, and having considered how I may best do SO, 
I direct the ' residue ' to be disposed of as follows: — I, 

having been for many years deeply ami firmly convinced 

that the true knowledge of God, that is, of the Being, 
Nature, and Attributes of the Infinite, of the All, of the 

First and the Only Cause, that LS the One and Only Sub- 
stance and Being; and the true and felt knowledge (not 
mere nominal knowledge) of the relations of man and of 
the universe to llim, and of the true foundations of all 
ethics and morals, — being, 1 say, convinced that this 


knowledge, when really felt and acted on, is the means of 
man's highest well-being, and the security of his upward 
progress, I have resolved, from the ' residue ' of my estate 
as aforesaid, to institute and found, in connection, if pos- 
sible, with the Scottish Universities, lectureships or classes 
for the promotion of the study of said subjects, and for 
the teaching and diffusion of sound views regarding them." 
From these words there can be no doubt that the con- 
clusion of Lord Gifford's mind as to how, in satisfaction 
of a public obligation which he felt lay upon him, he 
could best employ an expected " residue " of his estate, 
was the institution and foundation of certain lectureships 
in Natural Theology. The lectureships in question, in 
fact, are, within inverted commas, formally described as 
established for " Promoting, Advancing, Teaching, and 
Diffusing the Study of Natural Theology." That is ex- 
press ; there is no possible mistake of, or possible escape 
from, the bare term itself ; and just as little are we 
allowed any possible mistake of, or possible escape from, 
what Lord Gifford himself literally prescribes as his own 
whole will and meaning in the term. Natural Theology 
is, for Lord Gifford, in precise " other words," and with the 
same distinction of inverted commas, " The Knowledge of 
God, the Infinite, the All, the First and Only Cause, the 
One and the Sole Substance, the Sole Being, the Sole 
Reality, and the Sole Existence, the Knowledge of His 
Nature and Attributes, the Knowledge of the Relations 
which man and the whole universe bear to Him, the 
Knowledge of the Nature and Foundation of Ethics or 
Morals, and of all Obligations and Duties thence arising." 
All here, we see, is formal and express ; and everything 
is done that can be done by capital letters and inverted 
commas, by word upon word and phrase upon phrase, to 
cut off the very possibility of any failure to understand. 
That is the technical scroll, style, title, and designation of 


the business that is in hand. That is the Purview of the 
Lecturer : these are his Instructions. 

Further, indeed, and more expressly as regards the 
lecturers, he says this: "I have intentionally indicated 
the general aspect which personally I would wish the 
lectures to bear, but the lecturers shall be under no re- 
straint whatever in their treatment of their theme . . . 
provided only that the ' patrons ' will use diligence to 
secure that they be able, reverent men, true thinkers, 
sincere lovers of, and earnest inquirers after, truth." 
These, then, briefly are Lord Gifford's views in regard to 
the lecturers ; while, as for the lectures, we have already 
learned that they are to promote the teaching and diffu- 
sion of " sound views " in respect of Natural Theology. 
Now the whole question here is — What did Lord Gilford 
mean by " sound views " ? This, in the first place, is 
plain, that Lord Gifford wished the " sound views " he 
desiderated to be independent of Revelation ; but, in the 
second place, Revelation apart, he undoubtedly expected 
the phrase to be understood as it is ordinarily understood 
— and that is on the serious and affirmative side. 

■Unless we can suppose that Lord Gifford could, in such 
serious and solemn circumstances, descend to a paltry 
quibble and an unworthy irony, we must believe that the 
phrase bore for him, and must have borne for him, the only 
signification that is given to it in current usage. But we 
can say more than that. Lord Gifford himself expressly 
tells us, " I have intentionally indicated, in describing the 
subject of the lectures, the general aspect which 'personally 
I would expect the lectures to bear ; " and with such an 
avowal as that before us, there can be no great difficulty 
in coming to a certainty of assurance as regards what 
was peculiarly meant by the expression " sound views." 
Lord Gifford tells us that his personal expectation as 
regards the general aspect of the lecturers has been " in- 


tentionally indicated " by himself, and that we shall find 
as much in his description of the " subject " of the lectures. 
We are not even allowed a moment's hesitation in the 
reference, then ; for not only do we know that the subject 
is Natural Theology, but we know also, and that, too, in 
all fulness and completeness of detail, Lord Gifford's own 
definition of the subject. We need but recall a phrase 
or two here to have the whole before us again, and to feel 
relieved from all doubt relatively. " The First and Only 
Cause," " the Sole Being," " the greatest of all possible 
sciences, — indeed, in one sense, the only science, that of 
Infinite Being," — surely when Lord Gifford solicits " sound 
views " on such subjects, and so expressed, he is speaking 
affirmatively, and not negatively ; seriously, and not mock- 
ingly. The whole tone of any relative wording all through 
is one of reverent belief in, and reverent desire for. 
the realization of religion. His solemn last words are 
these : " I give my body to the earth as it was before, 
in order that the enduring blocks and materials thereof 
may be employed in new combinations ; and I give my 
soul to God, in Whom, and with Whom, it always was. 
to be in Him, and with Him for ever in closer and more 
conscious union." These sublime and solemn, almost awe- 
ing, last words comport but ill with <: sound views," in the 
construction that would make them only ironical and a 
mock. I have no desire to strain the situation to any 
undue extreme ; it is not my wish to make a Saint Simeon 
Stylites of Lord Gifford in the matter of Bevelation, nor yet 
an antique ruling elder in rigidity of Confession and the 
Creed. As to that I know nothing. How it was situated 
with Lord Gifford as regards any particular religious body 
or persuasion, is beyond my ken. I know only this, and 
the document so long before us bears ample testimony to 
the fact, that, during these suffering last years of Lord 
Gifford, it must have been the subject of religion that 


occupied his whole mind and heart. The proof is his 
Testament and Will, in which he is not content to concern 
himself only with the things of earth and his worldly 
relations, but in which he draws nigh also to his God and 
his heritage on the other side. " I give my soul to God," 
he says, "in Whom, and with Whom, it always was, to be in 
Him, and with Him for ever in closer and more conscious 
union." What, in a religious sense, Lord Gifford personally 
felt, and what, in a religious sense, as regards his lecturers, 
he personally expected or desired, I shall hold now to have 
been made conclusively plain. It is equally plain, at the 
same time, that Lord Gifford had no wish in any way to 
trammel his lecturers, or to bind them down to any express 
articles, provided always that whatever they advocated 
was advocated only by them as "reverent men, true 
thinkers, sincere lovers of, and earnest inquirers after, 
truth." No doubt that is true ; though I think we may 
also take it for granted, from the whole tone and general 
drift of his expressions, that it was the serious side he 
would wish to see triumphant in the world, and prevailing 
in the lives of men. " My desire and hope " — this is his 
own, most unambiguous declaration towards the close — 
"my desire and hope is that these lectureships and lectures 
may promote and advance among all classes of the com- 
munity the true knowledge of Him Who is, and there is 
none and nothing besides Him, in Whom we live and 
move and have our being, and in Whom all things consist, 
and of man's real relation to Him Whom truly to know is 
life everlasting." 

Now, coming from such considerations as these, it is 
not unnatural that the question should suggest itself, 
And how of the lecturer, — how is he situated in regard 
to the momentous interests which have been before us ? 
Of course there is no necessity in the bond that the 
lecturer, whom it has been the care of the patrons to 


appoint, should declare himself before he lectures, or, 
simply, further and otherwise than as he lectures. Still 
it might be convenient did he contrive to let his hearers 
have some inkling beforehand, generally, of what spirit 
and drift they might expect from him. Fielding, in one 
of his novels, tells us that, when we dine with a gentle- 
man who gives a private treat, we must not find fault, 
but cheerfully accept whatever fare he pleases ; whereas, 
in the case of an ordinary, with a bill of fare in the 
window, we can see for ourselves, and either enter or 
turn away a* it suits us. This hint, which only bears 
on physical food, Fielding does not disdain to borrow in 
respect of food otherwise. Following his example, then, 
let us prefix, not exactly now a bill of fare (which will 
come later), but an explanation, so far, in regard to 
creed. But that amounts to a religious confession, 
whereas it may seem that Lord Giffbrd himself deprecates 
or disapproves all such. It is certain that, according to 
the terms of the document, all previous declarations are 
unnecessary ; but still it cannot be said that there is any 
actual prohibition of them, either expressed or under- 
stood. Lord Gilford himself, as I have attempted to 
show, has made no secret of his own convictions on the 
general question ; and without at all desiring to set up a 
compulsory precedent for others, we may, without impro- 
priety, follow his example. I am a member of the 
National Church, and would not willingly run counter 
to whatever that involves. Again, as is seen at its 
clearest and most definite in the sister Church farther 
south, perhaps, — there are three main sections of that 
Church, or rather, as actual speech has it, in that one 
Church, — there are three Churches. There is Broad 
Church, High Church, Low or Evangelical Church. I 
daresay it has been by some — few or many, I know 
not — supposed that I am Broad, and it is very certain 


that it is not with my own will that I shall be narrow. I 
am an utter foe to religious rancour — religious intolerance 
of any kind. In that respect I am absolutely as Lord 
Gifford himself would appear to have been from his own 
statements, which are now, I hope, clearly in our minds. 
Nevertheless, I have to confess that I would quite as soon 
wish to be considered High as Broad, and that the party to 
which I do wish to be considered to belong is the Low or 
Evangelical one. No doubt there is deeply and ineradic- 
ably implanted in the human soul an original sentiment 
which is the religious one ; and no doubt also there is as 
deeply and ineradicably implanted there a religious under- 
standing. We not only feel, we know religion. Religion 
is not only buoyed up on a sentiment of the heart, it is 
founded also on ideas of the intellect. So it is* that, if 
for me High Church seems too exclusively devoted to the 
category of feeling, Broad Church, again, too much 
accentuates the principle of the understanding. Now, 
if as much as this be true, as well for the one Church as 
the other, it will not be incorrect to say that while the 
Low or Evangelical Church is neither exclusively High nor 
exclusively Broad, it is in essential idea both ; and so it is 
that it is on its side that I would wish to be considered 
to rank. I know not at the same time but that all three 
Churches have a common sin, the sin of absolute intoler- 
ance and denial, the one of the other. That I would 
wish otherwise for them in a mutual regard, and that I 
would wish otherwise from them in my own regard when 
I point out this diffi rence between them and me, that what 
they possess in what is called the Vorstellung, I rely upon 
in the Begriff. What they have positively in the feeling, 
or positively in the understanding, or positively in a union 
of both, I have reflectively, or ideally, or speculatively in 
reason. What the term positiv amounts to will be best 
understood by a reference to other religions than our own. 


The very edge and point of the positive may be placed in 
bare will, the bare will of another. Mormonism is a 
positive religion. There, says Joseph Smith, holding up 
the book of Mormon, take that, believe whatever it says, 
and do what it tells you. That is positive : the religion — 
the book— is just given, and it is just received as given. 
There is not a shadow of explanation, not a shadow of 
reasoning, not a shadow of stipulation on the one side 
or the other. So it is with Mahomet and the Koran. 
Book in hand, he just steps forward, and there, on the 
instant, the Mahometan is at his feet, simply repeating 
the precise words he hears read out to him. It is for 
the same reason that laws are positive. They rest on 
authority alone, another will than his who must obey 
them : as the dictionary has it, They are prescribed by 
express enactment or institution. Nevertheless, it is 
implied in laws and law that they as particulars, and it 
as a whole, are as much the will of him or them who 
receive, as of him or them who give. Law is but a 
realization of reason, of the reason common to us all, as 
much yours as his, as much his as yours. So it is, or so 
it ought to be, with religion ; and there you have the 
whole matter before you. He whose religion rests only 
on the Vorstcllung possesses it positively — believes it 
positively only ; whereas he with whom religion rests on 
the Bcgriff, has placed beneath it a philosophical founda- 
tion. You may illustrate this by a reference to the 
Shorter Catechism. If you get its specifications by heart 
and, making them your own only so, straightway act 
upon them, then that is an illustration of what is 
positive. To dwell on each specification separately by 
itself again, making it to flow and coalesce, and live into 
its own inmost meaning — that is to transmute it into the 
Begriff, for the Begriff is but the external material words 
made inward intellectual notion or idea — thought — some- 


thing from without converted into one's own substance 
from within. Not but thai the positive has its own 
rights too. We positively muzzle our dogs, we positively 
bridle our horses, and we positively install our cattle ; and 
we have right on our side. In the same way, and for 
the same reason, we positively teach our children ; and we 
have no other resource — we positively must. But what 
we teach them is only their own ; they follow only their 
own true selves when they follow us. We make it only 
that they are free — that it is absolutely only their own 
true wills they have, follow, and obey when we give them 
the wills of maturity and experienced reason. So it is 
that it has been a custom of a Sunday in Scotland to make 
our children learn by heart verses of the Bible or the 
specifications of the Shorter Catechism. They take what 
they learn only into the Vorstellung : they are unable as 
yet to convert it into Begriff; but the trust is that they 
will do so later. Nor is there any reason that they 
should not do so, at least on the whole. I do not mean 
to say that earnest reflection will remove every difficulty 
connected with the various articles of the Book of Articles 
or of the Larger or Shorter Catechisms ; but I do say 
that many of these articles mean at bottom the very 
deepest and most essential metaphysical truths. 

But it is not with that that we have to do at present, 
at the same time that it, and what else I have said in 
this connection, will all serve to realize to you the reli- 
gious position of the lecturer as what we are concerned 
with at present. And in that reference I ought to 
explain that, when I have opposed what is positively 
held in feeling, or understanding, or a union of both to 
what is reflectively, ideally, speculatively held in reason, 
it is not the system of belief technically known as 
Rationalism that I have in mind, whatever relation there 
may exist between the two words etymologically. As 


the sentence itself shows, indeed, the term reason is 
opposed by me, not only to feeling, but also to under- 
standing ; and understanding is the faculty, special, proper, 
and peculiar, of Rationalism. Rationalism, in fact, means — 
in its religious application — nothing but Aufklarung, is 
nothing but the Aufklarung, though claiming a certain affir- 
mative side in its bearing on religion. The prevailing mind 
of the Aufklarung, namely, as in Hobbes, Spinoza, Hume, 
Voltaire, is seen to be, in a religious direction, negative, 
so far at least as Revelation is concerned ; whereas the 
Aufklarung in the form of Rationalism, as in such a 
writer as the German Reimarus, for example, while 
planing away much, or perhaps almost all, that is essen- 
tial in religion, makes believe still to have an affirmative 
attitude to Revelation. Of course, I need no more than 
mention the distinction between understanding and reason, 
as I have no doubt it is now well known and familiar. 
It is current in Coleridge. I think, then, there will no 
longer be any possibility of misapprehension or mistake 
when I oppose religion as in reason to religion as in 
understanding ; while the latter, in the form of Ration- 
alism say, has to do only with what is conditional and 
finite, the former, in ideal or speculative religion, would 
attain to converse with the unconditional and the infinite 

But though I am thus careful to preclude the danger 
of a religion in reason being confounded with Rationalism, 
it seems to me that I must be equally careful to provide 
against another and opposing danger. There is a great 
prejudice against old forms now-a-days ; and it is not 
usual for the advocates of them to find themselves 
listened to. Advanced views, that is, what are called 
advanced views, are very generally, because advanced, 
supposed to represent the truth — at least the truth in its 
highest contemporary form. The supporters of them 


have been fighting a battle against the old, it has been 
conceived — a battle of enlightenment, progress, and im- 
provement against received prejudice, traditional bigotry, 
and stereotyped obstruction. It is the new only that is 
to be hailed as the true. He who, in any way, may seem 
now to stand for the old must be but a hired spadassin, 
a gladiator, a Praetorian guard, a bravo, a bully upon 
wages. He cannot have anything to say worth hearing. 
He must simply be going to babble the orthodoxy he is 
paid for. 

These words, I doubt not, will be found to strike a 
true note now. If a man would have any success with 
the general public now-a-days, almost it would seem as 
though, very commonly, he must approve himself, on the 
whole, as an Aufgeklarter, a disciple of the " advanced " 
thinking we all understand so well. That is the temper 
of the time, and the time — let critics say as scornfully as 
they like, " whatever that may mean " — the time has a 
a temper ; and, suppose it even in the wrong, it is as 
much in vain to move against it as for Mrs. Partington 
to stave out the Atlantic with her besom. The reason, 
of course, is that the Aufklarung, — call it if you will 
Secularism, Agnosticism, or even Eationalism, — the reason 
is that the Aufklarung which, to our greatest thinkers, 
was old and worn-out, and had completely done its task, 
by the beginning of this century has descended upon the 

In our large towns in these days, in our capitals, in 
our villages, we are confronted by a vast mass of un- 
belief. The Aufklarung, the historical movement called 
Aufklarung, as I sav, dead among thinkers, has descended 
upon the people ; and there is hardly a hamlet but has 
its Tom Faines by the half-dozen — its Tom Paines of the 
tap, all emulously funny on the one subject. I witnessed 
such a thing as this myself last summer in the country 


— the bewildered defeat of my landlady under the crow- 
ing triumph of her son, a lad of seventeen or so, who had 
asked her to explain to him where Cain got his wife ! 
In such circumstances we cannot expect to find a large 
portion of the Press different. I recollect I was once 
warned by a publisher, that I must remember it was the 
No-God men who had the pull at present. One is glad 
to think, however, that in this the dawn of a change 
begins to show. There are those among our highest, 
best, and most influential organs that have ceased to 
think that it is any longer necessary only to follow. 
They will teach now, inform, instruct, educate, lead. 
Still, on the whole, we may lay our account with this, 
that there is a prejudice in the mass for what appears, 
at least, to come to it as new. These are the words of 
the advanced, it thinks, of those, as I have said, who have 
been fighting the battle of time, in which, of course, it is 
always the new is the true. I am sorry for this. It is 
only a radical mistake of what is the new and what is 
the true. " Distinguished Paine, rebellious staymaker, 
rebellious needleman," as Carlyle calls him, cannot at 
least be new in these days, seeing that it is now about a 
hundred years since, by his chalked door on the wrong 
side, he just escaped the very last tumbrils of the French 
Revolution. I suppose deep with Paine was but shallow 
at its best : it is not likely that the shallowness of a 
hundred years ago is less shallow now. 

That, however, is the other danger. If there was a 
danger that reason might be confounded with the under- 
standing, and philosophical faith with Piationalism, there 
is also a danger that said philosophical faith, just in this 
that it is faith, should, by the followers of what they 
consider the new, not be listened to. It is to be sus- 
pected, indeed, that many good men, who know quite 
well what and where the Aufklarung is, are now-a-days 


reduced to silence precisely by such a consideration. 
"Why speak if no one will listen ? Nothing succeeds 
like success, and a failure remains a failure. Human 
nature is but weak ; and it cannot be wondered at, that 
it very soon gets hoarse in the throat, if it finds itself 
to be bawling only in a desert. It takes patience and 
a long life for men like the Carlyles and the Brownings 
to be overwhelmed with plaudits in the end that can 
only spoil themselves. 

What I mean by all this, however, is only to protest 
against such religious views as I have, not expounded, 
but indicated, being regarded as something too old to be 
listened to. I, for my part, very stupidly, perhaps, but 
still, as even the adversary will hasten to allow, not 
unnaturally, am apt to look upon them as the very 
newest of the new, as precisely the message which the 
votaries of philosophy have to give the world at present. 

And so it is that, to my mind, such votaries of philo- 
sophy must not allow themselves to be browbeat by 
the vulgarity that cries, and can only cry, as Cervantes 
tells us, " Long live the conqueror," meaning, of course, 
by that, only the side that is uppermost for the moment. 
What is really out of date, what is really behind the 
time, is to insist on regarding as still alive an interest 
that, as is historically known, had, so far as the progress 
of thought is concerned, fully come to term a hundred 
years ago. Not, at the same time, that there is any call 
for us to be either narrow or intolerant. What is in 
place now is a large and wise liberality that shall not 
fail at any time in the wish and the will to face and 
admit the truth. If any man confessed to me, for 
example, that, when the walls of the city were said to 
have fallen at the blast of the trumpet, his own belief 
was that this was merely the Oriental phantasy express- 
ing in a trope the signal speed of the event — if any man 



confessed such attitude of mind tome with fears for his 

orthodox security, I do think that I should not feel 
justified in bidding- him despair ! In fact, our relative 
riches aie such that, to my belief, we may readily allow 
ourselves as much. For the sake of comparison, let us 
even do this — let us consent, so far, and for this purpose, 
to place the sacred books of the Hebrews on the same 
level as the other sacred books of the East, and what 
have we lost ? Will they lose in the regard ? Is it not 
amusing at times to note the exultation with which our 
great Cochinese and Anamese scholars, our great Tonquin 
explorers, will hold up some mere halting verse or two, 
or say some bill of sale, certificate of feu, against the 
Hebrew Scriptures. Suppose the state of the case re- 
versed. Suppose we had been rejoicing all this time in 
these bills of sale, certificates of feu, and halting verses — 
nay, give them all, give them their own best, suppose we 
had been rejoicing all this time in the Confucian Kings 
and the very oldest Vedas, and suppose, in the face of 
all these possessions, the Hebrew Scriptures, unknown 
before, were suddenly dug up and brought to light ! 
Then, surely, there might be a cry, and a simultaneous 
shout, that never before had there been such a glorious — 
never before had there been such a miraculous find ! 
The sacred writings of the Hebrews, indeed, are .so im- 
measurably superior to those of every other name that, 
for the sake of the latter, to invite a comparison is to 
undergo instantaneous extinction. Nay, regard these 
Scriptures as a literature only, the literature of the Jews 
— even then, in the kind of quality, is there any 
literature to be compared with it ? will it not even then 
remain still as the sacred literature ? A taking simple- 
ness, a simple takingness that is divine — all that can 
lift us out of our own week-day selves and place us, pure 
then, holy, rapt, in the joy and the peace of Sabbath 


feeling and Sabbath vision, is to be found in the mere 
nature of these old idylls, in the full-filling Bublimity 
of these psalms, in the inspired Godwards of these 
intense-souled prophets. With all that in mind, think 
now of the tumid superiority of Mr. Buckle ! If any one 
can contradict me, he magnanimously intimates when 
perorating against all that, " I will abandon the view for 
which I am contending ! " With the Hebrew Scriptures 
lying there before us in their truth, as I have attempted 
to image it, is it not something pitiably small to hear 
again the jokes even of a Voltaire about the discrepancies? 
I do not apprehend that it is pretended by any one that 
there are not discrepancies; but what are they in the 
midst of all that grandeur ? He, now, who would boggle 
at the wife of Cain, or stumble over the walls of Jericho, 
is not an adult : lie is but a boy still. For my part, I 
do believe — I feel sure — that David Hume, that Voltaire 
himself were he alive now, and were he cognizant of all 
the education that we have received since, even on 
prompting of his own, would not for a moment be inclined 
to own as his these laggards and stragglers of an army 
that had disappeared. He would know that the new- 
time had brought a new task, and he would have no 
desire to find himself a mere anachronism, and historically 
out of .date. 

But with whatever general spirit we may approach 
the subject, it is to be considered that that subject, that 
Natural Theology itself, makes no call on Revelation — 
nay, that the Lecturer is under an express stipulation 
to treat it in independence of Revelation. Natural 
Theology, indeed, just as Natural Theology, means an 
appeal to nature, an appeal that is only natural. In it 
the existence of a God is to be established only by 
reference to the constitution of the universe, even as thai 
universe exhibits itself within the bounds of space and 


time ; and not in anywise farther than as it is reflected 
also in the intellect and will of man. 

Having thus exhausted what appeared necessary pre- 
liminaries of the subject so far as the respective persons 
seem concerned, their claims, wishes, intentions, views, 
powers, and understandings in its regard, we shall, in the 
next lecture, proceed to what more directly bears on the 
subject itself. 


Natural theology, what is it? — Usual answers — Hutcheson — Varro 
— The Middle Ages— Kaymund of Sebonde — Rays, Paleys, etc. 
— Till 1860— Since— Philosophies of religion— Pagan gods— De 
Quincey, Augustine, Cicero, Pliny, Juvenal, Herodotus, Aulus 
Gellius — The proofs historically treated — That the theme — 
Plotinus, Augustine— Natural theology not possibly a physical 
science — Understanding and faith, Augustine, Anselm — 
Monotheism alone religion proper — The course, affirmative, 
negative — China, India, Colebrooke, Riis bihiiri Mukharji — 
Hindu texts (Gnostics) — Hesiod. 

Having discussed and settled, so far as seemed desir- 
able, the personal aspects in connection with the matter 
in hand — what, viz., may have been the wishes, inten- 
tions, and general spirit of the Testator himself in the 
reference, as well as what expectations it may be in 
place to form in regard to the immediate lecturer, and 
the mood of mind in which he avows himself to enter 
upon this theme, — questions, it is hoped, all viewed with 
feelings and considerations not alien from, but so far 
in harmony with, the subject, — to that subject itself 
it only now remains for us more directly to turn. 

It — that subject — is formally dictated and expressly 
prescribed to us under the name of Natural Theology. 
We are met at once, in the first place, then, by the 
question, What is it — what is Natural Theology? I dare- 
say we have all some idea, more or less correspondent to 
the interest itself, of what Theology is. Theology, by 
the etymology of the mere expression, is the logos of 
God. The Greek logos, to be sure, like the Latin ratio, 


has quite an infinitude of applications ; but the applica- 
tion that comes pretty well at once to the surface here, 
suggests, as in some degree synonymous with itself, such 
words as description, narrative, account, report, rationale, 
theory, etc. Geology is a description, narrative, account, 
report, rationale, theory of all that concerns the earth 
in itself and in its vicissitudes. Zoology is such an 
account of all that concerns animals ; and astrology, 
supposing it to mean, as it ought, all that astronomy 
means, is a description, narrative, account, report, rationale, 
theory of all the objects we perceive in the heavens, 
and of their various movements and general phenomena. 
Theology, then, is to expound to us God, the fact of His 
existence, and the nature of His Being. Now, the 
qualifying word, Natural, when applied to Theology, 
must have a limitative, restrictive, and determinative 
force. What is still in hand is Theology, the account 
of God ; but that account is to be a natural account. 
In short, Natural Theology means that we are to tell 
of God all that we can tell of Him via natural, by 
the way of nature, — we are to tell of Him all that we 
can tell of Him from an examination of mere nature — 
of nature as we perceive or find it to be without us, 
of nature as we perceive or find it to be within us. 
The information so acquired will sometimes be found 
to be named, as by the Scholastics, and by Descartes 
and Leibnitz after them, the lumen naturae, lumen 
naturale, lumidre naturelle, the light of nature ; and 
consequently, by very name, is opposed to the super- 
natural light which is to be understood as given us 
by express revelation. 

Francis Hutcheson, in the third part, Be Deo, of his 
excellent little Latin Synopsis of Metaphysics, says that 
" although all philosophy is pleasant and profitable, there 
is, nevertheless, no part of it more productive and rich 


than that which contains the knowledge of God, quceque 
dicitur TJieologia Katuralis." This Natural Theology he 
goes on to describe as due to " philosophers who support 
themselves on the sole powers of human reason, and make 
no reference to what God has supernaturally revealed to 
inspired men." And the thing itself confirms the defini- 
tion. "We have only to look to what treatises have been 
actually written on the subject to perceive that the 
attempt in all of them is to demonstrate the existence 
and attributes of the Deity by reason alone, in applica- 
tion to nature itself as it appears within us or without 
us. Any sketch of the history of these treatises — of the 
history of Natural Theology — usually begins with the 
mention of Yarro, the contemporary of Cicero, a man, 
as it appears, of eneyclopa-die knowledge. I cannot see, 
however, much in his connection that is in application 
here. All that is known of Yarro on this head is to be 
found in the sixth book of St. Augustine's City of God, 
the greater part of which is taken up with Yarro and 
his relation to the gods. Augustine praise- Varro, and 
says, " he will teach the student of things as much as 
Cicero delights the student of words." There shall have 
been on his part also " a threefold division of theology 
into fabulous, natural, civil." And here Yarro says 
himself, " they call that kind mythical (or fabulous) 
which the poets chiefly use ; physical, that which the 
philosophers use ; civil, that which the people use ; " 
and again he says, " the first theology is especially 
adapted to the theatre, the second to the world, the 
third to the city." But without going any further into 
this, it may be said at once that the Natural, rather 
Physical Theology here, only considered the principles 
of the philosophers, as the fire of Heraclitus, the 
numbers of the Pythagoreans, the atoms of Epicurus ; 
and was merely a rationalizing of what was alleged 


of the gods into these — these principles, and had no 
claim whatever to the title Natural Theology as 
understood by us. At all to allude to Varro in this 
connection is on the whole idle. 

Of the power and majesty, as well as of the love of 
God, exhibited in the spectacle of the creation, we know 
that in the Old and New Testaments there is much both 
of awing sublimity and heart-touching gentleness. And, 
accordingly, we may as readily surmise that such marvels 
of poetry and inspiration would not escape the early 
Fathers, but would be rapturously used by them. And 
so indeed it was. Not but that there was a religious 
teaching, sooner or later, in vogue also, that despised 
nature, and turned from it as something inferior or 
wicked. All through the Middle Ages, and in most 
of their respective writings, there occur traces of refer- 
ences to nature that may be claimed in any professed 
history of the subject ; but in point of reality there is no 
veritable " Natural Theology " till the work expressly 
so named by the Iiaimond Sebond, the Iiaimondus de 
Sebonde, of Montaigne. The place he is named from is 
supposed to be somewhere in Spain, but nobody seems to 
know where it is to be found ; every new authority has 
a new name for it, Sebonde, Sabunde, Sabeyda, Sabieude, 

Eaymund nourished in the middle of the fifteenth 
century, and his book was called Tlieologia. Naturalis sive 
Liber Creaturarum ex quo homo in Dei et creaturarum 
suique ipsius cognitioncm assurgit — Natural Theology or 
Book of the Creatures, from which a man rises to a 
knowledge of God and the creatures and his own self. 
This is sufficiently promising ; but, after all, there is not 
a great deal in the book. Nevertheless, it appeared of 
such importance to the Eoman Curia that we find its 
Prologus in the list of forbidden books; this in 1595, 


more than a century and a half after its presumed 
composition. Montaigne, too, who translated it into 
French for his father, speaks in the highest terms of 
it, " Many folks amuse themselves reading it," he says, 
" and especially the ladies." I had noted some pas- 
sages to quote, but they are hardly worth the time. 
In the ascent of things to God, man is on the fourth 
grade, he remarks : he is, he lives, he feels, and he under- 
stands. This is a fourfold distinction taken from Aris- 
totle, which we find in most writers throughout the 
Middle Ages ; it is the esse, vivere, sentirc, intettigere, so 
universally applied in exposition of the stages of creation 
during the Hexaemeron — the six days of it, 

After liaymund, or his commentator Montaigne, I 
fancy we need hardly mention any other writers on the 
subject till we come to the Grews, Rays, Cudworths, 
Stillingfleets, Derhams, Clarkes, and Fenelons nearer our 
own times ; in which (times) all previous authorities 
have been superseded by our Paley and our Bridge- 
water Treatises. 

These last, then, — this now is the important considera- 
tion, and here is the critical pause, — these last, then, 
represent Natural Theology, and, as a whole, exhibit it — 
is it their contents that shall constitute the burden of 
these lectures, and be reproduced now ? It is Natural 
Theology we have to treat — Paley is Natural Theology. 
Shall we just give Paley over again ? I fear the ques- 
tion will be met by most of us with a shudder. For 
many years back it would seem as though the Natural 
Theology of the Eays and the Derhams, of the Faleys 
and the Bridgcivatcr Treatises had vanished from our 
midst. "Where," asked a metaphysician some four- 
score years ago, — " where may or can now a single note 
of former Natural Theology be heard — all that has been 
destroyed root and branch, and has disappeared from 


the circle of the sciences ? " His own question, all the 
same, did not hinder the same metaphysician from 
lecturing affirmatively on Natural Theology a considerable 
number of years later ; while, at about the same time in 
England, there was a revival of interest in the subject, 
principally in consequence, perhaps, of a new edition 
of Paley's work, to which Sir Charles Bell and Lord 
Brougham had, each in his own way, contributed. 
From that time, quite on indeed till 1860, we may 
say, there was the old interest, the old curiosity, ad- 
miration, reverence, awe, as in presence of the handi- 
work of God, when the descriptions of Natural Theology 
were before us, whether in lecture or in book. But 
now, again, a new wave has come and washed, for some 
twenty years back, Natural Theology pretty well out 
of sight. He who should take it up now as Paley took 
it up, or as Lord Brougham took it up, would simply be 
regarded as a fossil. 

In such circumstances the resource seems to be to 
turn to what is called the Philosophy of Religion, and 
has been introduced into Great Britain almost quite 
recently in the form of one or two translations from 
the German. There are other philosophies of religion 
in existence besides any as yet translated. Perhaps, 
indeed, there is no department of philosophy, so far as 
publishers' lists are in evidence, which claims a greater 
number of books at present. Even here, however, with 
a special view to the requirements of Lord Giford's 
Bequest, I do not find my look of inquiry quite hope- 
fully met. In one of the translated books, for example, 
what we find as a philosophy of religion is pretty well a 
series of biographies ; while, in the other, there are two 
parts — a part that is general, and a part that is bio- 
graphical. Now, I do not apprehend that a mere series 
of biographies would suit the requirement which we 


have in view ; and, as for the general part, it does 
not seem to satisfy me in that consideration either. 
That part may be said to consist of three divisions — 
one division being given to what we may call alien 
religions, another to our own Christianity, and a third 
to what may be regarded as specially general. Now, 
as regards Christianity, I do not feel that I should be 
happy did I philosophize it to you, even if that were 
competent to us on Lord Clifford's foundation, in the 
way in which it has been usual to do so, as, in fact, 
we find at once in the example readiest to hand — 
I mean in the Eaymund of Sabunde we have just spoken 
of. This writer holds that there must, of necessity, be a 
plurality of persons in the Godhead, quia in Deo debet 
esse communication quaz ncquit esse sine dantc, ct recipiente 
atque communicantc (that is, " because in God there must 
be communication or community, which, again, is im- 
possible unless there be a Giver, a Receiver, and a 
Communicator "). Of course, as is obvious at once, 
Eaymund means that the Father should be the Giver, 
the Son the Receiver, and the Third Person in the 
Godhead the Communicator. I do not mean to say 
that it is literally thus our modern writers philoso- 
phize to us the Trinity ; but it is an example in 
point, and perfectly illustrates the general method 
actually in use. I do not know that it is popularly 
known ; it is quite true, nevertheless, that in the 
greater number of the Fathers of the Church, and 
the other ecclesiastical, especially mystical, writers of the 
Middle Ages, some such method of philosophizing tin 1 
persons of the Godhead is commonly to be found. In 
them, for example, as in more modern philosophical 
writers, it is quite usual for Christ to stand as the ex- 
istent world. Now, I am not at all a foe to a warrant ml 
religious philosophizing; I am not at all a foe even to 


the carrying of trinity — trinity in unity — into the very 
heart of the universe in constitution of it. But it strikes 
me that in these days, and as we are here in Great 
Britain, so to attempt to philosophize the Christian God- 
head would only repugn. I, for my part, cannot feel at 
home in it. I feel quite outside of it. There is such a 
naked naivete in the Old Testament, and there is such a 
direct trust of natural simplicity in the New, as comport 
but ill with the apparent artifice and mere ingenuity of 
these seeming externalities. Again, as regards the divi- 
sion which, in these books, is devoted to other religions 
than our own, one finds it hard to put faith in that 
adjustment of them, the one to the other, that would 
make a correlated series of them, and a connected whole. 
With whatever attempt to philosophize them, there 
appears little for us that is vital in these religions now. 
They are not lively these nondescript divinities. My 
reading of these parts of these philosophies has been 
careful enough ; but I always found that a Gesindel 
(a rabble) of gods would not prove to me, as a Gesindel 
of ghosts had proved to a German professor, entertaining, 
that is, and refreshing. My experience rather seemed 
to be something like that of De Quincey in his dreams. 
" I fled from the wrath of Brahma ; Vishnu hated me ; 
Siva lay in wait for me ; I came suddenly on Isis and 
Osiris. I had done a deed, they said, which the ibis and 
the crocodile trembled at." Milton's " Lars and Lemures," 
and " wounded Thammuz," and " the dog Anubis," and 
" that twice-battered god of Palestine," were only delight- 
ful to me in his own most glorious poem. Apart from 
it, I was as grimly content to see them turn tail and flee 
as he was. I quite sympathized with Augustine in his 
contempt or horror of such gods as Jugatinus and Domi- 
ducus, and Domitius and Manturna, and Subigus and 
Prema and Pertunda. I agreed with Cicero that it was 


" detestable," that it was to be " repudiated," and not to 
be " tolerated," that there should be such gods as Fever 
and Mischance, Insolence and Impudence. I did not 
wonder at Pliny's disgust with the human folly that would 
believe in such gods. And did not Juvenal tell us of 
the Leek and the Onion as the gods whom, inviolably, 
the Egyptians swore by ? "Oh, the holy nation," exclaims 
Juvenal, — " oh, the holy nation whose very gods grow in 
their gardens ! " One remembers, nevertheless, that in 
the erection of the pyramids, according to Herodotus, 
these same Egyptians ate up ever so many hundred 
talents' worth of those gods of theirs. As for the 
divinity of the onion in particular, Aulus Gellius informs 
us that the Egyptian priests believed it, because the 
onion reversed for them the usual order of sublunary 
things, growing, namely, as the moon declined, and de- 
clining as the moon grew. I am not aware that modern 
science has confirmed the supposition ; but, no doubt, 
they knew a great many more things then than we know 
now ! A Gesindel, a canaille, a rabble of gods truly ! 
And Pliny has it that there was, in his time even, a 
greater population of gods and goddesses than of human 
beings ! The Greek poets and the Eoman poets — I am 
just recounting my relative experiences here — were all 
as pleasing to me, no doubt, as to another ; but I 
could not say that the special gods, Jupiter and the rest, 
made any very appreciable part of the pleasure. I had 
no interest in the gods of polytheism at all : after strange 
gods I suppose it formed no part of my idiosyncrasy to 
run. In short, in the division under reference of the 
said philosophies of religion, the philosophizing of the 
various gods of the various nations failed to move me or 
inspire me with a will to follow in the same direction. 
This, of course, cannot be without some natural exaggera- 
tion ; for, in the end, I by no means deny a certain affinity 


of the religions, the one to the other, and a consequent 
possibility of philosophically bringing them together. I 
only wish that for the purpose of use the actual attempts 
in this direction, so far as possibility of presentation is 
concerned, were better suited for our public. But, for 
the mere histories of the various popular divinities, I 
failed to see that I could make any application of them 
in the charge I had accepted in connection with Lord 
Gifford's bequest. Natural Theology as Natural Theology 
I could not in any way find in them. 

But, besides the divisions philosophizing, — the one 
Christianity and the other paganism, — there was the inter- 
mediate division of a more general philosophical matter, 
discussing, for example, the question of the seat of re- 
ligion, whether it was a sentiment, or whether it was a 
knowledge — even here I failed to find myself satisfied as 
to its sufficient availableness in respect of the conditions 
in view. The best performances in this regard had in 
them, assuming all else to be unobjectionable, such a 
mode of presentation and treatment as hardly could be 
acceptably and intelligibly conveyed. 

Recurring perforce from the Philosophy of Tieligion to 
Natural Theology again, it suggested itself that, after all, 
Paley 's way of it did not exhaust the subject. The field 
was really a larger field than Paley occupied. Paley 
entertained no questions of the proofs as the proofs, and 
the proofs as the proofs constituted the subject. The 
arguments, the proofs for the Being of a God — that was 
Natural Theology. And, again, not less are these proofs 
the very essential elements and bases of the philosophy 
of religion itself. There is no philosophy of religion 
that, extricating itself from mere biography, possesses a 
general part, but finds room — the best of them large, 
important, and essential room — for the subject of the 
proofs. Whence come these proofs, then ? They must 


have had a beginning. But begin where they might, they 
could have had no place where paganism and polytheism 
obtained. Side by side with religion, there might have 
been vague, crude, general philosophizings, but there could 
have been no Natural Theology as Natural Theology, and no 
proofs as proofs of Natural Theology. Polytheism, therefore, 
must fade, monotheism must dawn, before there could be 
even a thought of Natural Theology or its proofs. What, 
then, is the history of these proofs, and in this relation ? 
Suppose, at long and last, we take up this, — suppose we 
take up consideration of the known, received, tabulated, 
traditional proofs, and in connection ivith their history, — that 
would be an escape at once from what is alleged to be 
antiquated, and to what brings with it an element that 
promises to be new ; for there may be in existence sketched 
suggestions in regard to those who have written on the 


subject ; but it seems unknown that any attention has 
been paid as yet to the historical derivation of the proofs 
themselves. In this way, too, there would be no abandon- 
ment of the subject itself. Natural Theology — God as the 
sole content of Natural Theology — would never fall from 
sight nor cease to be before our eyes. Nor yet are we 
any more in this way excluded from philosophy : we are 
at once here in the very heart of the philosophy of religion 
itself ; and, in a personal regard, there can be no want of 
every opportunity to say everything whatever that one 
may have a wish or ability to say on such theme generally. 
With four men, at four universities, all declaiming, year 
after year, on the same text, there may come necessity for 
diversion and digression; but now, in this firsl year, it 
would ill become the lecturer who was first elected on the 
whole foundation, and in the university at least of the 
capital — it would ill become him, so signalized and so 
placed, to set the example of an episode, while il was the 
epic he was specially engaged for. There can be no doubt 


that Lord Gifford was very serious in his bequest, — there 
can be no doubt of the one meaning, end, aim, intention, 
and object of all those emphatic specifications and desig- 
nations of his, — there can be no question but that the 
Testator's one wish, in these days of religious difficulty and 
distrust, was for some positive settlement in regard to the 
Being of a God. One cannot read that last Will and 
Testament of Lord Gifford's, indeed, without being reminded 
of what Porphyry tells us of Plotinus. Plotinus died, he 
says, with these last words in his mouth : Ileipdadco to 
ev fjfuv 6elov dvdyeiv 7T/30? to ev ra> irdvTi Oetov (strive to 
bring the God that is in us to the God that is in the All). 
Kepler, apparently in contrast to this, says : " My highest 
wish is to find within the God whom I find everywhere 
without." In such a matter, however, it does not signify 
from which side we take it. There can be no doubt that 
the last thoughts of Lord Gifford concerned his own soul, 
and the God who made it. To know that, was to Lord 
Gifford to know all. It was with him just as though he 
soliloquized with St. Augustine (Soliloq. i. 7) : Deum et 
unimam scire cupio (I desire to know God and the soul). 
Nihilne plus (Nothing more) ? Nihil omnino (Nothing at 

It is true at the same time — and it may be well for a 
moment to meet this point — that Lord Gifford wished the 
subject to be treated as a strictly natural science, just 
as astronomy or chemistry is. But natural obviously is 
only opposed here to supernatural, only to what concerns 
lievelation. It were idle to ask me to prove this : every 
relative expression is a proof in place. If it were said that 
astronomy is to be treated as a strictly natural science 
just as chemistry is, would it be necessary to substitute 
in the former the method of the latter — to roast Jupiter 
in a crucible, or distil Saturn over in a retort ? Things 
that are identical in the genus are very unlike in the 


species, as in the Aristotelian example of the ox and the 
man, where each is an animal. The apparatus of chemistry 
is for chemistry, and the apparatus of astronomy is for 
astronomy : neither can be substituted for the other ; and 
both are powerless in regard to the object of Natural 
Theology. Our transatlantic brothers, as w T e hear at this 
moment, are going to have object glasses, or reflectors, or 
refractors, of ever so many feet ; but the very tallest 
American, with the very tallest of telescopes, will never 
be able to say that he spied out God. Natural Theology 
is equally known as Rational Theology ; and Rational 
Theology is equally known as the Metaphysic of God. 
That last phrase is acceptable enough ; it repugns not ; 
but fancy the Physic of God ! The Greek term, doubtless, 
has an identity with the Latin one ; but it has also a 
difference. Natural Theology may be considered a strictly 
natural science ; but it were hardly possible to treat it as 
a strictly physical science. Physical Theology sounds 
barbarous, and carries us no farther than Mumbo-Jumljo 
and the fetich in general. 

What we have to aim at, wholly and solely, here, in 
our science, is the knowledge of God, a knowledge that can 
come to us only metaphysically ; for it is a knowledge that, 
with whatever reference to nature, is still beyond nature ; 
— a knowledge, in fact, whose very business in the end is 
to transcend nature — the knowledge, namely, to which the 
Finite is only the momentary purchase that gives the rise 
to the Infinite. It can come to us, then, as said, only 
metaphysically, and for that matter, too, only religiously. 
The old way of it is not without its truth, the old way of 
it, as in the time of Augustine, or as in the time of Anselm. 
To both Augustine and Anselm there may be a necessity 
for a cultivation of the understanding ; but to both also 
there is a necessity that faith precede. Augustine {Civ. 
Dei, ix. 20) has in mind the verse (1 Cor. viii. 1), " Know- 



ledge puffeth up, but charity buildeth up." " Aud this 
can only be understood," he says, " as meaning that with- 
out charity, knowledge does no good, but inflates a man, 
or magnifies him with an empty windiness." So it is that 
to Augustine faith, love, charity must precede knowledge. 
Even as the ground must be loosened and softened for 
reception of the seed, so must the heart be made tender 
by faith, charity, and love, if it would profitably receive 
into itself the elements of knowledge. The same necessi- 
ties, to the same end, with humility, occur in Anselm. 
So here we have only to recollect his most frequent 
expressions to know that the general object of Lord Gifford, 
too, was faith, belief — the production of a living principle 
that, giving us God in the heart, should, in this world of 
ours, guide us in peace. 

How inapplicable mere Physics are to Natural Theology 
is obvious also from this, that Lord Gifford directly styles 
the latter " the only science, the science of Infinite Being." 
It is not in a science of Infinite Being that the lever or 
the pulley or the screw can have any place ; in respect 
of such a science, there is no power to deal with it but 
what lies in philosophy. And thus in meeting an objec- 
tion that may rest on such expressions as astronomy, 
chemistry, natural science, etc., we are brought back to 
where we were in connection with the proofs and their 
appearance in history. Natural Theology as Natural 
Theology, the philosophy of Infinite Being as the philo- 
sophy of Infinite Being, neither the one nor the other 
can be found in Physics, and just as little in paganism 
or in polytheism ; but both are to be found, and found 
together, when on the stage of history polytheism is 
melting into monotheism, and paganism is drawing nigh 
to Christianity. I have been met with surprise when I 
have said that religion proper only begins with mono- 
theism. But you will realize what I mean, if you will 


only consider the idea of sin. In mere mythology, which 
is superstition only, there may be fear for an evil in threat, 
or hope for a good that is desired, but there is no moral 
sense of sin, no moral anguish and conflict in one's own 
conscience. Moral responsibility comes only with the doc- 
trine of the one God that has made man in His image. 
For then man is no longer a slave ; he is a free man, and 
is referred to his own standard as a rational being, in 
regard to whether he is in unison with his Maker or not. 
Had ever any Greek or Eoman struggles within himself 
as to his belief or unbelief ? Many a modern has given 
to this world soul-thrilling testimonies of struggles as to 
God; but never a Greek or a Eoman in regard to 
Jupiter or Juno. Men, of course, will tear you like wild 
beasts, and rend you into a thousand fragments, should 
you spit upon their fetiches, in whose good - will they 
trust ; but that is a different matter. These men may 
hate you ; but they have no struggles in themselves. 

And now, after all these meetings of objections and 
all these explanations, in which, I trust, you will still 
kindly acknowledge a certain treatment of the subject 
itself, — after all this, it remains for me to state finally 
and formally what our further course shall be both for 
this session and the next. I take the theme as it is pre- 
scribed to me — Natural Theology and the proofs for the 
Being of a God. These proofs I follow historically, while 
the reflection, at the same time, that we have still before 
us " the only science, the science of Infinite Being," may 
bring with it a certain breadth and filling, tending to 
preclude, perhaps, what possible insufficiency of philo- 
sophical matter a mere consideration of the proofs them- 
selves might chance to involve. This is one half of my 
enterprise. The other half — the negative half — shall 
concern the denial of the proofs. This session I confine 
myself to the affirmative ; next session, I shall conclude 


with what concerns the negative. In this way we shall 
have two correspondent and complementary halves — one 
irenical, and the other polemical ; one with the ancients, 
and the other with the moderns. For I shall bring the 
affirmative half historically down only till we come again 
in sight of Eaymund of Sabunde, with whom in a way 
our explanations opened. I shall not trouble you with 
any formal exposition of the proofs themselves till we 
come to the negative that denies them ; and I do not 
think it necessary to deduce the historical part farther 
than Eaymund. I hold the Grews, the Kays, the Der- 
hams, etc., to have been all absorbed in your familiar 
Paley, who, for his part, needs no exposition of mine. 

Now, of the historical reference in question, I know 
not that there is much to be said till the first faint rise 
of monotheism begins to show itself among the Greeks ; 
for I shall presume the writings of the Hebrews to have 
stood fairly on the world-stage only after Christianity 
came to the struggle with heathenism ; though cer- 
tainly, some 250 years before the commencement of our 
era, the Jews had attained, in Alexandria, to a decided 
influence on, to say so, the universal historical life. 

Before Greece, and in regard to possible philosophizings 
spoken of as side by side with the religions, we have to 
cast our eyes only on India ; for, as regards China, there 
does not seem anything for us there, unless the declara- 
tion of the sect of Lao-tse, that a material naturalism 
need not alone be the object of knowledge and belief, 
but that the superiority lies with the things of reason 
and the soul. Henry Thomas Colebrooke, in his essays 
on the philosophy of the Hindus, published in the Trans- 
actions of the Royal Asiatic Society, and reprinted in his 
Miscellaneous Essays, has collected for us all that bears 
on the philosophical theology of India ; for what is 
philosophical in that reference alone concerns us — w T e 


have no call to turn to that Gesindel of gods them- 
selves. I may allow myself to lament to you that I 
have not an assistance here, which I had at least much 
hoped for. I have in correspondence with me an Indian 
gentleman of the greatest philosophical promise, who 
has for years been engaged upon, and will soon publish, a 
great historical work in reference to the philosophy and 
philosophies of the Hindus — Mr. Eas Biharl Mukharji. 
In the meantime, while we wait, we must be glad that 
we have Colebrooke. Here among his translations is 
one in which the beginning of all things is represented 
very much as it is in the first chapter of Genesis : " The 
earth was without form and void ; and darkness was 
upon the face of the deep. Then, was there neither 
entity nor nonentity ; no world, nor sky, nor aught 
above it . . . darkness there was ... but That breathed 
without afflation — other than Him nothing existed . . . 
this universe was enveloped with darkness . . . but that 
mass, which was covered by the husk, was at length 
produced by the power of contemplation and desire, the 
original productive seed." It is observed in a note to 
the passage in Colebrooke that darkness and desire here 
(Tamas and Kama) bear a distinct resemblance to the 
Chaos and Eros of Hesiod. But that mighty formless 
void, as it were the nebula of a world, breathed out like 
an exhalation around the Supreme Being, who then was 
simply contemplation and desire, reminds of similar ideas 
in the Gnostics, who also were mainly Orientals. Thus 
to Valentinus God was as the Bythos, the deeply-brooding 
abyss, the syzygy of which was evvoia, meditation ; and 
meditation was <riyi], silence, or %«/3 l<? > bliss. All these 
ideas seem to go together ; and, as Thomas Taylor might 
say, are not paradigmatic only, but parental. They are 
not merely schematic — merely in effigy or scheme, but 
they are substantially productive, procreative, parturient. 


Almost we get the thought from them that God must 
be, and with God His world. There is the fivdos, the 
deep, the eternal deep, the abysmal deep— is it not 
very striking that with such first principle, the second 
should be evvota, meditation ? And that meditation is 
aiyij, silence, deep, eternal, infinite ; and that silence is 
Xapt?, bliss, the mighty secret, the deep, silent, mystic 
felicity of the all-blessed God hidden and shut up into 
Himself. One cannot think of that first of things, that 
unfathomable profound, all-silent there, all-blissful there, 
— one cannot think of it but as full — the seon world is its 
7r\i]pa>fjLa, and its ir\r)p<o\ia, its filling, is the universe that 
is to be. All the thoughts go together, and they come to 
us as but the necessary nisus of the mighty prime, the 
prime that is itself a necessity and a nisus. The Gnostics 
proceed to add here, perhaps, a discordant note. They 
call this j3v96<i, app6vo-6r]\v<;, man-woman ; but still it is 
not incongruous that it should be as yet the all-one, the 
all - indifferent, the all - neutral, the simple infinite, the 
aireipov of Anaximander. Another syzygy of the Gnostics 
here is a\r)6eia truth, and truth also is in place. To all 
mankind, as to Democritus, it has seemed only fit that 
truth should be hidden in a well {(ivOu). 

These gnostic ideas are evidently very much in 
consonance with the conceptions of the Indians in regard 
to their Supreme Being, who at first for them " breathed 
without affiation." And I refer to such ideas now not 
as formally illustrative of the proofs as such, but as being 
at least akin to them. If there be a creating God as 
there is both to the Indians and the Gnostics, then what 
is called Teleology is irrepressible, design confronts us on 
the spot. But however it be with Teleology, with the 
proofs, how much such a passage as that Indian passage 
is as a voice from what to Lord Gifford is " the only 
science — the science of Infinite Being," must of itself be 


obvious at once. As might be expected too, it is not ;i 
passage left to Colebrooke alone ; it is to be found in all 
writers of the class, as, prominently, in the texts and 
translations of that eminent Orientalist Dr. John Muir. 
In his History of Ancient Sanscrit Literature, at page 
. r >4G, there is also an admirable poetical rendering of it at 
the able hands of Mr. Max Miiller, who, as we all know, 
is not only a passed master in linguistic science, but in 
comparative mythology as well the chief authority. 

Further, here, it may not be out of place, indeed, that 
I should name a few more of these Indian assonances. 
This, for example, is very notable : " Looking around, 
that primeval being saw nothing but himself, and he 
first said, ' I am I.' Therefore his name was 'I.'" Here, 
too, is a remarkable passage : " Brighu approached his 
father, Varuna, saying, ' Venerable ! make known to me 
Brahma ; ' " and on the third asking, it is said, " He 
(Varuna) meditated in deep contemplation, and dis- 
covered intellect to be Brahma ; for all these beings are 
indeed produced from intellect ; when born they live by 
intellect ; towards intellect they tend ; and they pass 
into intellect." Anaxagoras on the vovs could hardly 
have been better abbreviated. The declarations of 
Hindu philosophy in regard to causality may be referred 
to as having a relation as well to Teleology as to Ontology, 
or the Science of Being. But for them we shall have a 
fitter place elsewhere. Continuing our illustrations from 
Colebrooke, here is another proposition which I think we 
shall yet find of the greatest relevance and reach in 
what constitutes for us our special interest : " There 
must be one to enjoy what is formed for enjoyment : a 
spectator, a witness of it ; that spectator is soul." There 
is also to be found, similarly, in these communications 
this remarkable statement in regard to the final cause of 
the world, or rather simply of nature, nature as such. 


It (nature) is not there independently, self-subsistently, 
and on its own account ; it is there only for a purpose 
and as a means. "As a dancer," it is said, "having 
exhibited herself to the spectator, desists ; so does 
nature desist, having manifested herself to soul. . . . 
He (the spectator) desists because he has seen her ; and 
she (the dancer) desists because she has been seen." 
That is, the work has been accomplished ; what was to 
be done has been done ; and the implements withdraw. 

As regards the reference on the part of Colebrooke to 
the Thcogony of Hesiod and certain resemblances in its 
traditions to those of the Indians, there cannot be a 
doubt of its correctness. Both ring with assonances to 
the cosmogony of the Pentateuch ; and it is impossible 
to avoid believing, in reference to all three, that they 
echo to us some of the most ancient utterances of the 
race. Mr. Paley, the learned editor of Hesiod, observes 
in his preface (xv.) that in the Thcogony we have " traces 
of what appear to be primitive and nearly universal 
traditions of the human family . . . traditions so 
immensely ancient, that all traces of anything like a 
history of them had, long before Hesiod's time, been 
utterly and irretrievably lost. The coincidences between 
the earliest known traditions of mankind and the Mosaic 
writings are much too numerous and important to be purely 
accidental, and much too widely dispersed to have been 
borrowed solely from that source." So writes Mr. Paley. 
The traditions in Hesiod, therefore, in regard to primitive 
being, infinite and divine, are in nowise discordant from 
those of the East. We shall allow Hesiod, accordingly, to 
be, so far, the bridge from the East to the West, from the 
Indian to the Greek, where and among whom we shall 
find at last the scientific beginning, historically, as well 
of Teleology as of Ontology, with all the ethical and other 
consequences desiderated by Lord Gifford. 


Final causes— The four Aristotelian causes— Are there final causes 
in nature— Matter and form — Other causes only to realize tin- 
final causes — Cudworth— Adam Smith — The proofs, number, 
order, etc. — Teleology — Anaxagoras — Socrates in the Phsedo — 
Xenophon — Plato — Socrates on Anaxagoras — The causes 
together, concrete — "Abstract" — Forces, Clerk Maxwell — 
Heraclitus— Newton — Buckle — Descartes — Gassendi — Bar. ,n 
on causes, metaphysics, and forms — The vol>; (nous) of Anaxa- 
goras — Bacon on design — Reid, Newton, Hume on design — 

Fearing that we should find the present lecture dull, I 
have been at considerable pains this week in the re- 
writing of it ; for I desire to be at least intelligible, if 
not interesting or popular. My reason for fear was thai 
I had been led to speak at some length of final causes, 
and the subject appeared a somewhat dry one. Still, lei 
it be as it may, it is one that in such a course as this is 
unavoidable. For the very existence of our science, the 
very existence of Natural Theology, is bound up with the 
existence of final causes. Destroy final causes once for 
all, and you destroy Natural Theology for ever. 

The origin of the term, as is well known, lies in the 
Aristotelian quadruplicity of causes as such ; final causes 
being but one of its members. We are told in our class- 
rooms, namely, of material causes, formal causes, final 
causes, and efficient causes ; and the usual example given 
is that of a watch, in regard to which, the metals are the 
material causes ; the wheels, pinions, cylinders, etc., the- 
formal causes ; the watchmaker, the efficient cause ; and 


the pointing of the hour, the final cause. Warmth is the 
final cause of a blanket ; but so much sheep's wool is its 
material cause. The final cause of a bridge is the 
passage of a river ; its material cause, the stones ; its 
formal cause, the arch ; and its efficient cause, the archi- 
tect with his workmen. Now, though we can hardly 
say with Dr. Eeid (WW. 526) that these four causes are 
but four shades of the same meaning, we can certainly 
maintain that, for the most part, they constitute together 
but a single concrete ; as we can readily see in the 
examples of the watch and the bridge. It is evident, 
however, that such examples as these, let them be as 
explanatory as they may, can have no application to, or 
vitality in, Natural Theology, so far as, in its very terms, 
it is to be considered a manifestation of nature. That 
there are these causes existent in human affairs, even to 
an almost endless extent, is not the question. "We have 
only to know a house, or a ship, or a canal, or a railway, 
or a telegraph, or a garter, or a shoe tie, or a button, or a 
knife, fork, and spoon, to understand all that. But are 
there also such things in nature ? — that is the question ; 
and there are those who answer it in the affirmative ; 
while there are others, again, who meet it with a direct 
negative. And this is the clash : here is the very edge 
— here is the very knot, and point, and core of the battle. 
The whole business of Natural Theology lies there — is 
there, or is there not, design ? Is there, or is there not, a 
final cause in nature ? If there be anything such in 
nature — if there be anything in nature that, by very 
formation, shows design, purpose, intention to have been 
its origin, then there is also proof in nature of an efficient 
cause that gave at least form to matter. And in this 
way, even in nature, the four causes would be seen to 
constitute together but a single concrete quite as much 
and as manifestly as they do in art. Already, indeed, 


we can see as much as this to be at least the case with 
the material and the formal causes, let it be as it may 
with the others. That is, either apart is at once seen 
to be null. If matter were without form, it would be 
incognizable, a nonentity, a void, something nowhere to be 
seen or touched or heard. Lump-paste, lump-clay, lump- 
metal may seem formless to us, and yet cognizable ; but 
this is not so. Lump-paste, lump-clay, lump-metal are 
substances, each with its own qualities ; and these qualities 
are to each its form. The qualities of paste are not the 
qualities of clay ; nor are these the qualities of metal. 
Consequently, all three are distinguishable the one from 
the other. A substance without a quality were a non- 
ens, and a quality without a substance were but a fiction 
in the air. Matter, if to be, must be permeated by form; 
and equally form, if to be, must be realized by matter. 
Substance takes being from quality ; quality, actuality 
from substance. That is metaphysic ; but it is seen to be 
as well physic, — it is seen to have a physical existence ; 
it is seen to be in rerum natura. Form is, as it were, 
the thought, the soul of matter ; and matter, as it were, 
the body, the externale of form. So it is that a thing is 
understood when we see the externale in the internale ; 
and, quite as much, the internale in the externale. Form 
and matter are the same synthesis, or, what is equally 
true, they are the same antithesis. But, taking it for 
granted that this will be readily admitted to be the case 
as regards matter and form, it will not be so readily 
acknowledged, we may assume, that final causes are in 
similar vital relation with the material and formal ones. 
That these latter causes are but the vehicles in realiza- 
tion of final causes, — this, in fact, is but the matter in 
dispute, and can never be expected to be accepted by 
those who oppose final causes themselves. What 
we have presently historically to see, however, is pre- 


cisely this doctrine in Greece — that material causes 
(with formal) are but the implements, and instruments, 
and scaffolding of final causes. It is in this mood 
that Cudworth says, " To take away all final causes 
from the things of nature is the very spirit of 
atheism : it is no prejudice or fallacy imposed on our- 
selves to think that the frame and system of this whole 
world was contrived by a perfect understanding and 
mind." As another modern illustration, we may say that 
there is a passage in the Theory of Moral Sentiments 
which almost bears out the supposition that even Adam 
Smith saw the one set of causes to be but the comple- 
ment of the other. " In every part of the universe," he 
says, " we observe means adjusted with the nicest artifice 
to the ends which they are intended to produce ; and in 
the mechanism of a plant or animal body, admire how 
everything is contrived for advancing the two great 
purposes of nature, the support of the individual, and the 
propagation of the species. But in these, and in all such 
objects, we still distinguish the efficient from the final 
cause of their several motions and organizations. The 
digestion of the food, the circulation of the blood, and 
the secretion of the several juices which are drawn from 
it, are operations all of them necessary for the great 
purposes of animal life ; yet we never endeavour to 
account for them from those purposes as from their 
efficient causes, nor imagine that the blood circulates, or 
the food digests, of its own accord, and with a view or 
intention to the purposes of circulation or digestion." 
That is, we never fancy that the one side suffices. The 
" purposes," which are the final causes, do not, alone and 
by themselves, realize themselves ; neither do we imagine 
of the blood and the food, which are the material causes, 
that the one circulates, or the other digests, of its own 
accord. Plainly, Adam Smith here has excellently 


caught sight of the two sides, abstract, idle, dead, apart, 
but concrete, energetic, busy, living and life-giving in 
unity. Of course, I need not remark that his efficient is 
the usual material: he says efficient here, because what 
he speaks of is the matter or material operant. 

With these anticipatory explanations, I may now pro- 
ceed. In regard to the history of the proofs for the 
Being of a God, we are now arrived, as has been said, 
within sight of Greece. As I am not intending at 
present to expatiate on these proofs themselves ; so I 
shall not take up your time with any rehearsal of the 
various classifications and designations proposed in their 
regard by the various authorities. It shall be enough 
for us that all of these, with whatever peculiarity of 
dressing, come, in the end, to the three arguments in and 
with which Kant assumes to comprehend and exhaust 
the subject. That is, there is, first, the Cosmological ; 
second, the Teleological ; and, third, the Ontological 
argument. There is no dispute as to the position of 
this last. That argument, the ontological one, does not 
appear in history until in the time of Anselm Christianity 
has been for centuries the dominant religion in Europe. 
About the order of the two others there has been some 
little difference ; Kant characterizing the teleological 
argument as the oldest, and Hegel postponing it to the 
cosmological. It has been usual, however, to speak of 
the latter in connection with Aristotle, and at all events 
it seems, on the whole, more convenient to begin with the 
teleological argument. Begin with which we may, 
however, and let them be separated from each other as 
they may be in time, the three, after all, do constitute 
together but the three undulations of a single wave, 
which wave is but a natural rise and ascent to God, on 
the part of man's own thought, with man's own experience 
and consciousness as the object before him. 


The word Teleology (due as a word probably to Wolff) 
has, iu its meaning at all events, always been associated 
with the name of Anaxagoras. He, so far as history 
teaches, is the acknowledged originator of the idea, 
That is to be admitted. There can be no doubt that, 
whatever others may seem to have said in the same 
direction, it was Anaxagoras who, for the first time in 
Greece, perhaps in the world, spoke of the beauty and 
order in the universe being due to a designing mind. 
We have but to look to the single fragment of his lost 
work, irepl (pi/aem, which (the fragment) has been pre- 
served to us by Simplicius, to become aware of such 
clearness and fulness on the part of Anaxagoras in his 
conception of the i>ov<;, nous, as could not fail to 
impress on his successors the necessary problem, 
generally, of what is meant by teleology, and must 
perfectly justify, as well, the position which has been 
assigned to him at their head. " ISTous (Intelligence)," 
he says there, "is infinite and absolute, free from ad- 
mixture with anything else, alone by itself ; it is om- 
niscient and omnipotent, and has disposed all things, in 
order and in beauty, within the encompassing whole, 
where the stars are, and the sun, and the moon, and 
;i j ther, and the air." This, beyond doubt, is fairly to 
characterize Mind as the ultimate causality of the 
universe, and of the order and design we see in it ; and, 
very certainly, most amply, does the general voice of 
antiquity confirm the gloss. For one, Socrates, in the 
Fhcedo, gives very full testimony to this effect. He had 
heard a book of Anaxagoras' read, he says, in which it 
was mainiained that vovs, which may be translated 
mind, understanding, reason, was the disposing and 
arranging principle in the universe, and he had been 
mightily pleased therewith. For it seemed to him right 
and excellently well that an intelligence should be 


recognised as the cause of all tilings, inasmuch as, in that 
case, everything would find itself precisely where it was 
best that it should be ; so that, accordingly, such con- 
sideration would directly lead us to a perfect explanation 
of anything in the world around us which we might be 
curious to understand. In a personal reference, for 
example, it became a man to ask, whether for himself or 
others, only what was best. To know that was the same 
thing as to know what was worst ; for in a single 
cognition both lay (the proposition which is more 
familiar to us now-a-days, perhaps, as the dictum de vcro ; 
that the truth, namely, is the index sui d falsi). But it 
is this that has specially struck the mind of Socrates. 
What an inestimable good it will be to come to under- 
stand everything by being made to see that au intelli- 
gence has placed it precisely where it is best for it ! 
Nothing could better have suited him than such a 
doctrine. What was as it should be, justice, right, 
reason, moral and intellectual truth — that was the 
special qiiest of Socrates at all times. Socrates is under- 
stood to have had no favour for Mctcorologia, speculation 
into things celestial. Nay, Xenophon introduces him as 
calling this very Anaxagoras mad in the special reference 
(Mem. iv. 7. 6). Not but that Socrates, as we may see 
further, has his own interest in cosmologia, if not in 
meteorologia. It is only as characteristic of him, indeed, 
that he should be made to say here : " It appeared to me 
ev e%eiv — it appeared to me to be excellently well that 
' the Nous should be the cause of all things ; " for it 
certainly belonged to his very inmost and dearest thought 
that all things should be found to be framed and arranged 
by intelligence, and disposed according to what is best. 
There are other expressions in Plato, not always in the 
mouth of Socrates, quite to the same effect as regards the 
Nous of Anaxagoras holding and disposing all things at 


its own sovereign best. Such expressions are to be 
found in the Laws (967 B), for example, and in the 
Cratylus (400 A, 413 C) more than once. But it is this 
great passage in the Phcedo that must be considered the 
locus proprius on the point. Socrates, in it, dwells at 
very considerable length on the whole matter. It may 
almost be referred to, actually has been referred to, as an 
example and proof of Socrates' polylogia, his Rcdscligkeit, 
his loquacity, and, as Smollett says, clack. In point of 
fact, there is no fuller reference to the consideration in 
debate to be found anywhere, and Socrates does seem to 
have taken occasion from it to deliver himself in full 
freedom, unrestrictedly at large. He expatiates, positively, 
on the expectations which Anaxagoras had conjured up 
in him, expectations quite contradictorily meteorological, 
after all, seeing that, in great measure, they concern the 
shape of the earth, the sun, and the moon, and the com- 
parative courses of the stars, — he expatiates at great 
length on these expectations, positively, and he would 
not have given them up, he says, iroWov, for a great 
deal. Then he expatiates at equal length on his dis- 
appointments, negatively, when, most eagerly possessing 
himself of the books and most keenly reading them, he 
found the man making no use whatever of the Nous, but, 
on the contrary, in all actual explanations of things, calling 
in only mechanical causes, airs, and aethers, and waters, 
and other aroira the like, quite as before ! — just as though, 
says Socrates, it should be first affirmed of Socrates that 
he did all that he did by his own understanding, and 
then sapiently subjoined as if by way of example, that it 
was because of such and such bones and tendons, so and 
so constructed, that he sat there, the real reason being 
that it seemed to the Athenians best to condemn Socrates, 
and to himself best to abide the result. "Else, by the 
dog, " he exclaims, " methinks these bones and tendons 


would, long ere this, have been somewhere about Megara 
or the Boeotian confines, transported thither on the 
thought of what seemed best." 

We see here that Socrates not only understood the 
principle of Anaxagoras with Anaxagoras' own further 
stultification of it, but also, perfectly, the distinction 
between final and mechanical causes. Proximately, it 
was certainly because of certain bodily antecedents that 
Socrates remained, as he did, sitting in prison ; but, as 
certainly, for all that, it was the resolution of his own 
mind that was the final cause. Here, too, this also is 
to be seen, that the two sorts of causes do not remain 
abstract, that is, as Bacon (compare the Be Augmcntis in 
its correspondent part with The Advancement of Learn- 
ing, ii. 8. 2) explains the word abstract, "severed," or 
"dissevered," from all else; but that they are, in rerum 
natura, concretely associated. The centrifugal force, in 
the revolution of the planets, is not the same as the 
centripetal: rather, the one is directly the reverse or 
the opposite of the other. Nevertheless, in the words 
of Mr. Clerk Maxwell, they are "merely partial and 
different aspects of the same stress." In point of fact, 
as already seen in regard to form and matter, this syn- 
thesis in antithesis, this one of two, this breadth of a 
duality in the unity of strain, seems to be the cosmical 
truth, and alone valid. There cannot be action without 
reaction ; and the one abiding reality is the single nisus 
between, that conjoins no less than it disjoins. It is 
the to avri^ovv crv^epov, the coherent disherent, attri- 
buted to Heraclitus by Aristotle, who adds " that the 
fairest harmony results from differents, and that all things 
are produced from strife" (Mh. Nic. viii. 1). The two 
sides, it would seem, though they stand over against 
each other, and are absolutely opposed the one to the 
other, do not, for all that, subvert or destroy each other, 



but, on the contrary, even in and by their opposition, 
conserve and maintain each other. 

And so it precisely is with Socrates here. The bones 
and tendons that keep him in prison would in themselves 
be no better than null were it not for the volition that 
animates them ; and neither would this volition itself be 
anything were it not for the bones and tendons that 
realize it. Reaction depends on action, centrifugal force 
on centripetal force, repulsion on attraction, and even 
energy must have its support in corporeity. It is 
Newton himself who says, Virtus sine substantia subsis- 
tere non potest. 

Authorities, however, are largely neglected now-a-days, 
and it is widely the fashion at present to have changed 
all that — it is widely the fashion, indeed, not only to 
separate final and efficient (or mechanical) causes as 
irreconcilable the one with the other, but even to de- 
stroy those before these. And this even by reference to 
such philosophers as Descartes and Bacon. Mr. Buckle, 
for one, is very apt to rise authoritatively on triumphant 
toes in this matter as regards both. And, indeed, both 
philosophers can be quoted, as though they were minded, 
each, to dispute the truth of final causes. But, for all 
that, suppose we do not simply accept the allegation — 
suppose, on the contrary, that, .as in the case of Charles II. 
and the dead fish, we examine, rather, into its truth, 
perhaps we shall find that the accompaniment of a grain 
of salt may not prove altogether superfluous. As regards 
Descartes, for example, it will not be found that he at 
all denied the existence of final causes ; and if he dis- 
couraged, which he undoubtedly did, the inquisition of 
them, his reason, his motive was not that he respected them 
less, but that he respected the place and perfection of 
the Deity more. Any prohibition in the case of the 
former arose wholly and solely from devotion in the case 


of the latter. In fact, there can be no doubt that what 
wholly and solely determined him here, was the peculi- 
arity of his conception in regard to the Divine Being. 
That conception was so high that it appeared pre- 
sumptuous to Descartes to make one, as it were, in the 
counsels of the Eternal as regards the creation of the 
world, at the same time that our limited faculties ran the 
risk, in such a daring, of seeing imperfection where there 
was perfection alone. Gassendi, I may observe, has a 
remarkable answer to Descartes here, the foundation of 
which is entirely the reference to design (see in Des- 
cartes at Med. IV.). 

As regards Bacon, it is on him that the greatest stress 
is laid for the rejection of final causes ; but perhaps, 
even in his case, as I have suggested, it may not be 
necessary to take the allegation au pied de la lettrc. 
Formal causes, final causes, metaphysic itself, — and it is in 
place here to name metaphysic, for such causes, with the 
whole logos of God, constitute the very contents of meta- 
physic, — formal causes, final causes, metaphysic itself, 
Lord Bacon would seem to have thought of and respected 
as much as anything whatever in physic itself. I hold 
The Advancement of Learning alone to be sufficient to 
prove this. That work, in numberless editions, is quite 
possibly in the hands of everybody, and it constitutes 
the original English form of what is known as the De 
Augmentis Scicntiarum. Eeally, one has only to look at it 
to be immediately impressed with an utter surprise that 
any one should ever have considered its author an enemy 
of what is known as the metaphysical region of inquiry. 
By the easy trick of isolating words and clauses, we may 
make any writer argue on any side we please ; and so it 
has been done with Bacon. The seventh section of the 
seventh chapter of the second book of The Advancement 
of Learning, for example, he begins in this way : " The 


second part of metaphysic is the inquiry of final causes, 
which I am moved to report, not as omitted, but as mis- 
placed. And yet if it were but a fault in order, I would 
not speak of it . . . but the handling of final causes, 
mixed with the rest in physical inquiries, hath intercepted 
the severe and diligent inquiry of all real and physical 
causes." The correspondent Latin is to the same effect : 
"Tractatio enim causarum nnalium in physicis, in- 
quisitionem causarum physicarum expulit et dejecit." 
There can be no doubt from such words, then, but that it 
was a decided opinion of Bacon's that the " handling," 
the tractatio of final causes, "mixed with the rest in 
physical inquiries," has expelled and ejected the inquisi- 
tion of physical causes. And I do not suppose there is 
any one who will deny this. It is matter of the com- 
monest information that the earliest physical explanations 
were largely rendered impure and untrustworthy by the 
reference of phenomena, not to literal antecedents, but to 
figured agencies. Perhaps we have not lost the same 
habit even in these days of enlightenment. Falling 
bodies do not any longer seek the earth by appetite, 
perhaps ; but we have still many other such like tropes 
in abundance. 

It is matter, then, of the commonest information that 
the earliest physical explanations were apt to be dis- 
figured, or sublimed, by all manner of metaphors, tropes, 
and personifications. So it was, as Bacon righteously 
complains, that real physical causes were apt to be pushed 
out or overlaid. We will all readily grant that ; but we 
must also say with Bacon, despite any such abuse, and 
Bacon points to no more, that the general problem of 
final causes is sufficiently to be respected. Final causes 
constitute to Bacon the second part of metaphysic, as the 
subject of forms constitutes to him the first. And 
Bacon does not at all speak ill of metaphysic. " Natural 


science or theory," he says in The Advancement of Learning 
(ii. 7. 2), is divided into physic and metaphysic." The 
latter word, metaphysic, he adds, is used by him "in 
a differing sense from that that is received." For us 
here, then, it becomes necessary to know what that 
" differing sense " is ; and Bacon, on that head, leaves us 
in no difficulty. In the first place, we have (3) this : 
" I intend philosopliia prima, summary philosophy and 
metaphysic, which heretofore have been confounded as 
one, to be two distinct things ; " and, in the second place, 
these words : " Natural theology, which heretofore hath 
been handled confusedly with metaphysic, I have 
inclosed and bounded by itself." It appears thus, that, 
in the eyes of Bacon, metaphysic must lose two main 
sciences or disciplines that formerly belonged to it, 
Nevertheless, it must be said that even to Bacon meta- 
physic must still remain a very sovereign region of human 
intelligence. In " what is left remaining for metaphysic " 
(his own words) he directly rules that "physic should 
contemplate that which is inherent in matter, and there- 
fore transitory ; and metaphysic that which is abstracted 
and fixed; and again, that physic should handle that 
which supposeth in nature only a being and moving and 
natural necessity; and metaphysic should handle that 
which supposeth further in nature a reason, understanding, 
and platform or idea. . . . Physic inquireth and handleth 
the material and efficient causes: metaphysic handleth 
the formal and final causes." This, then, is to give to 
metaphysic a serious and principal role. While physic 
contemplates in nature only what is external, metaphysic 
contemplates in the same nature, the reason, the under- 
standing, the idea. It is important to observe that 
reference to nature : the reason, the understanding, the 
idea of metaphysic, according to Bacon, is a reason, an 
understanding, an idea that is actually in nature, and no 


mere figure of speech, no mere figment of phantasy. But 
what under metaphysic are called reason, understanding, 
and idea, are also called, and precisely in the same pages, 
formal and final causes. Formal and final causes are to 
Bacon, therefore, each a reason, an understanding, an 
idea that is in nature ; and I can hardly think that any 
metaphysician, even in these clays, would wish for them 
a deeper place or a more essential function. Bacon 
insists very much on formal causes : he is even inclined to 
place them in a region by themselves, a region that is to 
De a sort of reformed, and improved, and renovated 
" natural magic," as he calls it. Bacon laments (5) that 
formal causes " may seem to be nugatory and void, 
because of the received and inveterate opinion that the 
inquisition of man is not competent to find out essential 
forms aud true differences." He, for his part, holds that 
" the invention of forms is of all other parts of knowledge 
the worthiest to be sought, if it be possible to be found. 
And, as for the possibility, they are ill discoverers that 
think there is no land, when they can see nothing but 
sea." Of these forms, " the essences (upheld by matter) 
of all creatures do consist." In short, Bacon would seem 
to have in mind both Plato and Aristotle when they will 
have us pass beyond all externality to the internality 
itself which reason alone touches (ov avrbs o A.0709 airreTat), 
, the 6W&><? ovra which are, as Schelling interprets, the 
very " subjects of what is predicted of the ovra" Such, 
then, are the forms of Bacon, the very subjects of things 
which reason itself touches. And no less decided is 
Bacon as regards metaphysic in its reference to final 
causes. " Both causes," he says (7), "physical and meta- 
physical, are true and compatible, the one declaring an 
intention, the other a consequence only," for " men are 
extremely deceived if they think there is an enmity 
between them." " Physic carrieth men in narrow and 


restrained ways, subject to many accidents of impediments, 
imitating the ordinary flexuous courses of nature ; " but 
everywhere broad are the ways for the wise in metaphysic 
" which doth enfranchise the power of man unto the 
greatest liberty and possibility of works and effects" (G). 
Bacon, in fact, has not a word to say against metaphysic 
or final causes, but only against their " abuse," when they 
happen to be " misplaced." 

We have now left Anaxagoras and his commentators 
a long way behind us, as though we had forgotten them, 
and started off into quite another region. What con- 
cerns us with Anaxagoras, however, is the vov<; ; and the 
vovs means for us design, at the same time that the forces 
of design, the realizing agents of design, are final causes. 
It is with Anaxagoras that design comes in, that final 
causes first make their appearance ; and it is here and 
now, where there is question of Anaxagoras, that there 
should be question also of that part of metaphysic which 
embraces the consideration of such causes. And here, 
evidently, it was impossible to avoid the relative discus- 
sion, especially of Bacon, in regard to whom it has 
hitherto been received as an established commonplace 
that he is the declared foe — the foe a Voutrance of any- 
thing and everything that concerns the subject of final 
causes. It is indeed surprising that, with such a common 
English book before us as The Advancement of Learning, 
any such opinion should ever have been so uncondition- 
ally expressed. Even of Natural Theology, Bacon's 
deliberate utterances are such as may surprise not a few. 
He directly says, for example, " As concerning divine 
philosophy or natural theology, it is that knowledge or 
rudiment of knowledge concerning God, which may be 
obtained by the contemplation of His creatures ; which 
knowledge may be truly termed divine in respect of the 
object, and natural in respect of the light. . . . Where- 


fore, by the contemplation of nature, to induce and 
enforce the acknowledgment of God, and to demonstrate 
His power, providence, and goodness, is an excellent argu- 
ment, and hath been excellently handled by divers" 
(Adv. of Learn, ii. 6. 1). " It is an assured truth, and a 
conclusion of experience," he says elsewhere in the same 
work (i. 1. 3), " that a little or superficial knowledge of 
philosophy may incline the mind of man to atheism, but 
a further proceeding therein doth bring the mind back 
again to religion. For in the entrance of philosophy when 
the second causes, which ere next unto the senses, do 
offer themselves to the mind of man, if it dwell and stay 
there it may induce some oblivion of the highest cause ; 
but when a man passeth on farther, and seeth the 
dependence of causes and the works of Providence, then, 
according to the allegory of the poets, he will easily be- 
lieve that the highest link of nature's chain must needs 
be tied to the foot of Jupiter's chair." Lastly, here, as 
regards Bacon, we may refer to that grand passage in the 
Essays that begins : " I had rather believe all the fables 
in the 'Legend,' and the 'Talmud,' and the 'Alcoran,' 
than that this universal frame is without a mind." Even 
of the fool it is not credible to Bacon that he hath 
thought, if he hath mid, in his heart, There is no God. 
Even the fool, Bacon thinks, must have said it only, as it 
were, " by rote to himself." That is an excellent idea, 
the only speaking by rote ! " Atheism," as he says 
further, " is rather in the lip than in the heart of man." 
" For, certainly, man is of kin to the beasts, by his body ; 
and if he be not of kin to God, by his spirit, he is a base 
and ignoble creature." Surely, then, in every way it is a 
noble testimony that Bacon bears to final causes, to meta- 
physic, and to Natural Theology. 

Of the teleological argument, Dr. Reid says that " it has 
this peculiar advantage, that it gathers strength as human 


knowledge advances, and is more convincing at present 
than it was some centuries ago." This was all very well 
when the " present " was a present that had before it a 
second edition of the Principia of Newton, in which it 
was mentioned as a thing understood that said Principia 
were a pmesidium munitissimum, a most perfect defence 
against the impetus atheorum, the sallies of atheists — 
aud a present that had before it also, at the hands of 
Lagrange, an irrefutable demonstration of the stability of 
the universe : it was all very well for that " present," with 
its Newtons and Lagranges, to hug itself on its own 
security, and more or less directly gird at Alphonso of 
Castile, but what of this " present " that is our present ? 
Our task now is not as the task then. Then even a 
Hume, who sought in his somewhat narrow ingenious way 
to reason us out of both soul and body, and the universe 
out of God, felt forced even by necessity to speak thus : 
" "Were men led into the apprehension of invisible, intel- 
ligent power by a contemplation of the works of nature, 
they could never possibly entertain any conception but of 
one single beins, who bestowed existence and order on 
this vast machine, and adjusted all its parts, according to 
one regular plan or connected system. . . . All things in 
the universe are evidently of a piece. Everything is 
adjusted to everything. One design prevails through the 
whole. And this uniformity leads the mind to acknow- 
ledge one author. . . . Adam, rising at once, in Paradise, 
and in the full perfection of his faculties, would naturally, 
as represented by Milton, be astonished at the glorious 
appearance of nature — the heavens, the air, the earth, his 
own organs and members ; and would be led to ask 
whence this wonderful scene arose " {Nat Hist, of Bel. 
sections i and ii.). When it is the sceptical Hume that 
speaks thus, we do not wonder to find the pious Newton 
always expressing himself with the profoundest reverence 


and admiration of the divinity he saw everywhere in the 
mighty scheme of the universe, that was for the first time, 
perhaps, discovered in all its mightiness only to him. 
The writers that treat of the life and works of Newton 
always refer to this. There are his queries in his Optics, 
as, " Whence is it that nature does nothing in vain ; and 
whence arises all that order and beauty which we see in 
the world ? How came the bodies of animals to be con- 
trived with so much art; and for what ends were their 
several parts ? Was the eye contrived without skill in 
optics, and the ear without knowledge of sounds ? " 
Then, with all else, there is that marvellous scholium 
generale in the third book of the Principia : " Cum una- 
quaeque spatii particula sit semper, et unumquodque 
durationis indivisibile momentum sit ubique, certe rerum 
omnium Fabricator et Dominus non erit nunquam, nus- 
quam." (" As every particle of space is always, and every 
indivisible moment of duration is everywhere, assuredly 
the Fabricator and Lord of all things will not be never, 
nowhere") Quite in place here is that colossal con- 
ception on the part of Newton of the vast infinity of 
space being the sensorium of Deity. In the course of 
what follows the above words, Newton exclaims : " Deus 
est unus et idem Deus semper et ubique ; " and, farther 
on, " hunc cognoscimus solummodo per proprietates ejus et 
attributa ; " and he adds, " et per causas finales " — " God is 
the one and the same God always and everywhere — Him 
we know by His qualities and attributes — and by final 
causes." I ought to translate all that refers to God in 
this grand scholium ; but I must content myself now by 
declaring of the scholium itself that it requires to be 
neglected by no student of philosophy. As thought is 
the principle of spirit, so is gravity the principle, the 
essence, the formal cause, the very self of matter as 
matter. It was Newton discovered that — that and the 


system of the heavens. There have been some unique 
men in tills world, as — say Shakespeare ! but never, 
probably, was there a man more unique than Newton : in 
his peculiar faculty he rises higher, more remote from, 
more unapproachable of, ordinary men, than any other, 
perhaps, that ever lived. Xewton is the priest and 
interpreter of the orbs that roll — the Brahmin of the 


Anaxagi >ras, the »ov$ — Aristotle — Understanding — Pythagoreans 
— Pantheism — Lord Gifford — Baghavad Gita — The uoi; to 
Socrates, Plato, Aristotle — Grote, Schwegler, Zeller — The 
world a life — Berkeley, Cudworth, Plato, Zorzi — Subject 
and object — Nature and thought — Externality and inter- 
vality — Bruno — Universal and particular — Spinoza — Physical 
theories — Space and time— Hodgson, Carlyle, Berkeley, Beid, 
Leibnitz, Kant— But lor an eye and an ear, the world utterly 
dark, utterly silent. 

Returning to Anaxagoras, it is still a question how we 
are to decide him to have regarded his principle of the 
vovs, whether as a power immanent, that is, dwelling 
in matter, or as a power transcendent, that is, outside 
of and above matter. It really seems to me difficult, 
however, to give any other interpretation than the latter 
to the words of Diogenes Laertius at all events. As though 
actually quoting from the very work of Anaxagoras, 
Diogenes says, iravra ^pr']fiara -qv 6fiov, all things were 
together, elra vovi i\8a>v aura hteKoa/jurjcre, then vov<i 
coining, orderly disposed them. We seem to see here 
one thing lying by itself apart, and another, at some 
certain moment of time, coming, moving towards it, and 
adding itself to it. But that being so, vovs is not 
immanent in matter, but transcendent over it. Aris- 
totle, near the beginning of the eighth book of the 
Physics, makes the distinction between the two positions, 
what was first and what came second, even stronger. 
His words are, " Anaxagoras says that all things being 
together, and having remained so at rest an endless time, 


vovs set motion into them and separated them." That, 
plainly, is to the effect that the movement was set into 
things from without, and not developed in them from 
within ; that vov<;, namely, was a transcendent, not an 
immanent principle. 

The Germans seem to incline, on the whole, however, 
to adopt the mere immanence of the vovs. To some of 
them the fault of theology is its rigorous separation of 
the opposites. In the relation of God and the world 
they would wish to see, not a fixed inconceivable sun- 
deredness, but a living transition. Others would wish 
us to see in the i>o0?, not reason, but understanding. 
What they mean by understanding is what some time 
ago I endeavoured to figure under the word /V.0709. You 
see that inexplicable thing a reel in a bottle ; suppose 
now it were all explained to you, every step in the 
idea that generated it clear before your eyes, then that 
X0709 (for the explanation would be a Xo'70?), — then that 
\0709 would be the Verstand, the understanding of the 
reel in the bottle. This reel would no longer be a mere 
piece of inexplicable matter ; it would now be impreg- 
nated with the notion, so that all its parts were held 
together by it, and, as it were, one in it. Xow that is 
what the vovs is held by some to be in relation to the 
world. The world were an unintelligible externality and 
material chaos, did not the understanding enter into it 
as a connecting and explaining tissue. So it is that 
even the Pythagoreans, too, explain the world ; it is a 
congeries of externalities ; but into that congeries of exter- 
nalities, mere disjunct atoms, proportion enters ; and that 
proportion gives them subsistence, connection, meaning, 
and unity. In this way it will be intelligible what is 
meant by an understanding being sunk into the things of 
the universe. To certain Germans, then, vovs is such 
understanding — an immanent ideal bond, not a fashioning 


creator apart from, and independent of it. This, in general, 
and on its own account, is a point of view necessary for 
us to know, even with reference to our general subject 
of Natural Theology. I mean that the doctrine of the 
immanence of the vovs involves what is called pantheism. 
This is the more interesting to us here inasmuch as some 
of the expressions in which Lord Gifford characterizes his 
idea of God may seen to have in them a pantheistic echo. 
As, for example, these, that God is the Infinite, the All, 
the One, and the Sole Substance, the Sole Being, the Sole 
Reality, and the Sole Existence. Some of these expres- 
sions no doubt, even as pantheistic, suggest criticism. 
Reality and existence, it may be said, for instance, are 
both doubtful words. An iron nail or a brass button is, 
as we generally speak, a reality ; but God's reality must 
lie a much other reality than the reality of such as these. 
Existence, too, at least in certain philosophical works, 
has been pretty well exclusively used in identically the 
same sense as reality in the case of either nail or button. 
A brass button is an existence, and an iron nail is an 
existence, — the word existence being here taken in its 
strictly etymological sense as a compound from the Latin 
words ex and stare. Whatever finitely stanch out to sense, 
as an actual object seen of eye or touched of hand, etc., 
is an existence ; it stands up and out. But existence in 
no such sense as that, plainly, can be predicated of God. 
God is not an object for eye, or ear, or touch, or any 
sense. We cannot see God as we see a statue or a house, 
or hear Him as we hear the blowing of the wind or the 
dashing of the wave. In a word, God is to be thought 
as infinite, not finite, as immaterial and not material, as a 
spirit and not as a body. In the sense alluded to, then, 
He may not exist; but He will still be, The soul of a 
man will be granted to be — let us conceive its nature to 
be, how we may. Even the crudest judge of character 


has not his idea of a man as such and such a body merely. 
There really is an entity that is logically distinguishable 
from the body, and is, on its side, as much a one, or more 
a one, than, on the other side, the body itself. An ego 
is a unity, and a unity of the whole of its infinite con- 
tents, take it how you may. Logically, then, an ego is 
an entity on its own account — an integer, self-contained 
and self-complete teres, totum, ac rotundum. An ego, of 
course, makes itself known only through and by means 
of its body, but, with whatever difference, it is precisely 
so with God ; it is the very contention of these lectures 
that God makes Himself known through His body, which 
is the visible world without and the intelligible world 
within. As for Lord Gifford's term, substance, again, it 
reminds at once of Spinoza ; substance is the God of 
Spinoza, and Spinoza, as we know, is the archpantheist. 
The word All, again, is certainly a word in pantheistic 
parlance, and may, as the others may, be so used by 
Lord Gifford. Even pantheistically, however, we may 
stop to say, it is a very objectionable word ; for, even so, 
it is at once too much and too little. Too much ! All, 
in its use by Lord Gifford, God as the All, cannot mean 
stars and planets, sun, moon, earth, air, seas, and con- 
tinents, minerals, plants, animals, men, — collectively, that 
is, as so many individual objects in a ring, a mere outside 
aggregate, there materially in space, and now materially 
in time. Etymologically, no doubt, such a description 
of an All as God, or of God as an All, may seem but a 
necessary inference from the very word pantheism; but 
it is difficult to believe that any pantheist, Oriental or 
Occidental, religious or philosophical, ever thought of his 
God as any such clumsy miscellaneousness. In some of 
the books of the Bhaghavad Gita, as the seventh, the 
ninth, and the tenth, Krishna, indeed, may be heard 
exclaiming to Arjoon : " I am sunshine, and I am rain : 


I am the radiant sun, the moon, the book of hymns, 
Mem among the mountains ; I am the lion, the vowel 
A," etc. etc. No doubt, however, these are but as so 
much spray from the overflow of the Oriental phantasy. 
Hardly ever is it the case, indeed, that they occur in 
that bare categorical form. More commonly the phras- 
ing itself shows that the term is but a trope : " I am 
moisture in the water, light in the sun and moon, 
sweet-smelling savour in the earth. I am the sacrifice, 
I am the worship, I am the spices, I am the invocation, 
I am the provisions, I am the fire, I am the victim," etc. 
etc. In such form as that it is quite evident that there 
is no thought of an assemblage of mere outer objects as 
constituting the All that is to be conceived as God. 
But if such expressions as are in question, and so taken, 
are too much, they are, as evidently, all too little. No 
such names, and no such names even if they were multi- 
plied a thousandfold, can exhaust the infinity in unity, 
and the unity in infinity, of God. That, too, is a way of 
the Orientals, that they would seek by mere numberless 
namino-s to ascend to the infinite that is God ; but, again, 
the Orientals themselves confess, even in the numberless- 
ness of their namings, the impotence of the numberless- 
ness itself. The visible is but an accident and fringe of 
the invisible ; no myriad namings of the seen can reach 
the unseen. 

To certain Germans, then, almost, we may say, to the 
German philosophical historians generally, the immanence 
of the vow is the established doctrine. With vovs, they 
say, there certainly comes in, and for the first time in 
acknowledged history, the principle of an understanding, 
and the principle of an understanding that is self-deter- 
minative ; but still we are not to think of the vovs in 
nature as of a mind and thinking consciousness in the 
way we find it in ourselves. Nov? is to be conceived of 


in nature as we see laws are : we know by the inquiries 
of our sciences that in the universe of things there is law, 
and consequently, so far, reason. 

In a good deal of all this, however, there enters the 
thought that there is the danger of supposing that what 
Anaxagoras, after all, meant was merely adeuscx maehina 
that came and ordered the chaos, a Zeus, a Jupiter, or 
other merely mythological personage of the early crude 
imagination. So far as such conception is concerned, I 
think it is right to contend against that. Certain it is 
that Anaxagoras did make no other use, so far as the 
application is concerned, of his principle the vovs than 
such deus ex maehina that was no more, despite all his 
description of it, than the first cause of motion. It 
seems that he had no sooner announced it in general, than 
he set himself, in particular, to the usual mechanical 
expedients. It does not follow, however, that we must 
think the vovs a merely immanent principle, as it were, 
of lineamentation and proportion in the material mass, 
and that it was not to be conceived, at the same time, as 
a self-centred fount of intelligence and of intelligent 
action, so to speak, on its own account and in its own 

It seems to me that even the advocates of the imma- 
nence of the vovs, themselves, do not regard it as, so to 
speak, a brutrfy immanent principle, but as an intelligent 
and conscious principle that has in it the distinction of 
personality. It seems to me also, that the universal 
voice of antiquity is to the same effect. Even Socrates, 
though speaking with disappointment of the application 
of the principle, does not speak differently of the prin- 
ciple itself. To Socrates the vovs, in a word, was an 
intelligent principle that knew the better, and acted on 
it. Plato repeats this description at least three times 
further; twice again, indeed, on the part of Socrates, but 



once on that of another ; so that of his own relative sen- 
timents there can be no reasonable doubt. 

As for Aristotle, again, it would take up too much 
time to quote all that, in this connection, his writings 
show, but we must see a passage or two. In the De 
Anima (404&) he has this on Anaxagoras : to acrcov rod 
zcaXco? Kal opOcos (the cause of the good, beautiful, and 
right), tov vovv Xeyei (he calls the vovs). A little farther 
on (405«18), in this same work, we find the vov<; 
characterized as " a principle that knows, and as a prin- 
ciple that moves the to irav " (the all). In the Metaphysic 
there are several very distinct passages to a like effect. 
Anaxagoras, he says once (985<xl8), " in his explana- 
tion of the construction of the world, uses his vovs as a 
mere stage property ; that is, he only lugs it in when he 
is at a loss otherwise." That concerns the application 
of it. But the main passage in the Metaphysic is this 
(084&8) : " These (preceding) principles proved insufficient 
to explain what is ; and, in further effort, this now sug- 
gested itself. That things are good, and beautiful, and 
right (eS Kal KaXws e^eiv), can assuredly not be ascribed 
to fire, or earth, or anything else of the kind, nor yet to 
accident or chance ; and so it was that when Anaxagoras 
came forward with the proposition that, as in animals, so 
in all nature, vov<i is immanent as the cause of the world 
and its whole orderly arrangement, he appeared as though 
a man that was sober in comparison with mere drunken 
stutterers that had preceded him. . . . Those, then, who 
followed him, made the cause of what is good to be the 
principle of what is, and of the movement in it." 
Especially does Aristotle insist on the unmixedness and 
unmovedness of the vovs, no doubt having in mind him- 
self his own principle of a Trpcorov klvovv (a first mover), 
that, unmixed with other things and itself unmoved, 
moves all of them. 


As for the vov<; of Anaxagoras, indeed, being a personal 
self-conscious reason, such as we conceive on the part of 
the Divine Being, there can be no doubt that such is the 
natural inference of any of us now-a-days who will im- 
partially read the words that expressly described it ; and 
there can be as little doubt that, as we have seen, such 
was the general understanding on the part of antiquity. 
It is certainly impossible to think of this principle as 
only a natural power sunk into matter, as Mr. Grote does. 
One, too, must, with Schwegler, give it more spiritual 
credit, by reason of the attributes of thought and con- 
scious design ascribed to it, than even Zeller does. 

It appears to me right, at the same time, even while 
assuming vovt to be capable of an independent existence 
on its own account, that we should attribute, almost as 
partly referred to already, more of a life of its own, and 
more of an instinctive reason of its own, to nature itself 
than we usually do. The pious Berkeley {Siris, 276) 
vindicates the doctrine ; and it is surely, as a doctrine, 
not by any means necessarily either atheism or pantheism. 
To me it is quite as certain that there is an absolute sub- 
ject, God, as it is certain that there is an absolute object, 
His universe. Still, it appears to me that the object 
should be brought much nearer the subject than is cus- 
tomary among us. If we view the object as the other of 
the subject, then we have the two, as I think we ought 
to have them, in mutual relation. The world, as there 
at the will of God, is still the work of God, the expression 
of God ; whatever it is, it is still of God : there must be 
relation between them. So it is, in fact, that there is 
such a science as this very Natural Theology that we have 
before us. Bacon himself, as we have seen, refers to the 
two sides of it. He calls it a knowledge " which may be 
truly termed divine in respect of the object, and natural 
in respect of the light." Nature is not to be supposed 


the evil principle, and abandoned of God : rather it is the 
garment we see Him by. Placed in the midst of beauty 
itself, it is still the solemn temple most majestical in 
which it is ours to bend the knee in awe, ours to worship 
in love. So it is that we shall take nothing from God 
in commending His work. Nature has a life of its own ; 
it is not simply brute. There is at least relevance for 
the "plastic nature" of Cudworth, or even the world-soul 
of Plato. "We may exclaim in perfect agreement with 
Cornelius Agrippa ab Nettesheim : " Supremus et unicus 
rationis actus religio est ; " " Religion is reason's sole and 
supreme act ; in vain we philosophize, know, and under- 
stand, if He, who is the essence and author of our intel- 
lect, and whose image we are, is left unknown by us ; " 
but we may, not inconsistently, at the same time, feign or 
figure, with his contemporary Franeiscus Georgius Zorzi 
Venetus, that " the world is an infinitely living indi- 
vidual, maintained by a soul in the power of God." We 
may even allow ourselves to sympathize with Zorzi's 
countrymen who came later, and held that " a single soul 
pervades this living universe." In fact, there is great 
truth in the old way of it, that the world is the macro- 
cosm of man, as man is the microcosm of the world. We 
may conceive that it has been the will of God that nature 
should be the mere externalization of man, as that man 
should be the mere internalization of nature. The cate- 
gories which are in man and constitute his thinking fur- 
niture — these categories, if in him only subjective and 
within, are all objective and without in nature. Only so 
it is that, at once, nature is intelligible and man intelli- 
gent The relation, indeed, between an object that is to 
be understood, and a subject that is to understand, is pre- 
cisely as that between matter and form. If form is to 
take on matter, matter to admit into itself form, form 
must be in effect matter, matter in effect form. So it is 


that nature is but the other of thought ; thought, again, 
but the other of nature. In other words, nature is but 
the extermination of thought — thought but the inter- 
nalization of nature. Or nature is externality ; thought 
is internality. Nature is the externality of that inter- 
nality ; thought is the internality of that externality. 
Nature is difference ; thought is identity : the one the 
difference of that identity ; the other the identity of that 
difference. Nature, as the object, as the externality, as 
the difference, is a boundless out and out of objects, a 
boundless out and out of externalities, a boundless out 
and out of differences — a boundless out and out under 
physical necessity, which, at the same time, can alone be, 
and is, physical contingency, fortuitousness, accident, 
chance. Thought, again, as the subject, the internality, 
the identity, is a boundless in and in of subjective inter- 
nalities, subjective identities ; and its actuating principle 
is freedom, free will ; for thought as thought, reason as 
reason, the universal as the universal, is the only freedom, 
the only free will. "As externality," says Giordano 
Bruno in the Delia causa principle- cd tmo, " As exter- 
nality, nature is only the shadow of the One, of the first 
and original principle ; for what, in the 'principle, is 
unseparated, single, and one, appears in externality 
— in tilings — sundered, complex, and multiplex." The 
thought here, Bruno's thought, as of the one and 
the many in the language of the Greeks, is, evidently, 
very much as I have expressed it a moment ago. 
Thought is the form, and the truth, and the universal — 
the one: nature is only the matter, and the show, and 
the particular — the many. The world is but the negative 
of the mind ; the mind is the affirmative of the world. 
It is the world that stands up a presence, and the 
only presence, to the senses ; but it is mind that is 
the soul of that world. No man has seen the universal 


— it is only the particular that can be seen. It is only 
the objects in the world that can be seen, and heard, 
and handled. Accordingly, the philosophers of a sensa- 
tional time will only speak of what they know, they say ; 
and they know only the particular — only what they see. 
They do not believe there is a universal : a universal they 
never saiv. Nevertheless, it is only the universal that is 
the truth of the particular: the particular only is because 
the universal is. What the particular is, that is the 
universal. Or, it is in the particular that we are to see 
and know the universal. That is the way of the truth. 
As there cannot be a naked outside — an outside that 
has no inside, so there cannot be a naked particular 
— a particular that is that and nothing else — a particular 
that has no universal. We are, all of us that are here, 
particulars ; I wonder what any of us would be if 
the universal, if man, humanity, were suddenly allowed 
to run out of us ! The universal is not a single object, 
a thing which we can touch and handle ; nevertheless 
it is, and all these particulars are only its : we can touch 
and handle them, only because of it. If it is only seen 
in them, they disappear into it. Separate existence for 
the universal is only possible in the absolute subject, 
God. And His is the necessary existence. He is that 
which cannot nut be. We can conceive all — all the 
things of sense — to perish ; but still we know that there 
is God, that He cannot perish, and that they would come 
again. Extinguish the lamp of this universe, and it is 
still alight. Crush all into nonentity, and it only smiles 
an actuality in your face. At the same time that, too, 
is to be said : we are. We, too, think ; we, too, are 
universals, but, being in a particular body and a parti- 
cular world, not infinitely so : we are, as here below, 
only finitely so. Here, however, the warning is necessary 
that, even in the position that would give to nature 


a certain life of its own, it is not for a moment to be 
understood that it is Spinoza's deification of nature that 
is meant. I am not one of those who, in these day-, 
apotheose Spinoza, though I can very sincerely r< 
him. lie was a gentle, inoffensive, quietly living man, 
who, for bare bread, contentedly sat polishing his glasses 
while lie pondered the writings of Descartes, and Hobbes, 
and others the like, which were then before him. For 
I see no reason to believe that Moses Maimonides, or 
other Jcicish philosopher, earlier or later, had such 
power over Spinoza as men of an imagination of the 
Arabian Nights are profuse in eloquence to lead us to 
believe. Descartes, with a little of Hobbes, was, after 
all, quite enough for Spinoza. It is only the peculiarity 
of its presentation, perhaps, that hides the milk and 
water in the system, that, for the rest, belonged to the 
character of the man. It might not be very difficult 
to look at Descartes geometrically ; ami then, for the 
most part, the thing was done — the work was accom- 
plished. Generalized to its ultimate, what was in rerum 
natura was extension and thought. Space, indeed, was 
more than extension : it was solid ; it was extension in 
all directions. Even so, however, it was still geometrical. 
But take it as extension only, then its surface was 
susceptible of infinite lineamentation, infinite con- 
figuration. But infinite configurate lineamentation in- 
volved relations, involved ideas, was tantamount to 
thought. There, then, it was; that was the world— 
extension and thought. That also was God: extension, 
with its involution of thought, geometrical thought — 
that was God. What, then, of man here \ Why, finite 
things were the figurations, the lineamentations <>f ex- 
tension ; and one of these was man. Even at the 
even at the worst, consequently, man did occupy, actually 
was, a certain portion of the divine surface. The lines 


that figured him — the lines that cut him out — might 
indeed be evanescent and perish; but what of the 
surface they isolated remained. To that extent man 
was as God; to that extent man was divine; to that 
extent man was immortal. Surely, at all events, par- 
ticularly, while quite in coherence with the general idea, 
that is the burden and the effect of propositions 22 and 
23 in the fifth book of the Ethic. We are significantly 
warned by Erdmann, however, not altogether to trust 
ourselves to any such concession of immortality on the 
part of Spinoza, seeing that, if in such propositions we 
find " a personal God, a personal immortality, and one 
knows not what else, we must not forget that, according 
to his (Spinoza's) own express declarations, God has neither 
understanding nor will ; that, according to him, a God 
who reciprocated love were no God ; further, that to him 
personality and duration are only figments of the 
imagination, which, even as such, he will not eternalize ; 
finally, that he makes religion and blessedness to consist 
simply in the self-forgetting resignation through which 
man becomes only an instrument of God, that, when 
useless, is thrown away and replaced by another." 
Evidently, then, on such foundations, what stuff, what 
portion of the very substance of his God, Spinoza will 
allow us, cannot come to much, though applying it as, 
so far, a concession on his part to the general interest 
of the immortality of the soul, we may feel inclined 
in our hearts to thank him at least for his good-will. 
But, to thank him so is not to accept his deification 
of nature. Nature, as that immeasurable panorama 
out there, around us, and in front of us, give it what 
properties we may, is still an externality and a materi- 
ality ; it is not a spirit ; as such it is not even 
tantamount to the vovs of Anaxagoras. To attain even 
to the vovs of Anaxagoras, it is not the externality and 


the materiality that we have to look to, but what is 
of the quality of thought — the order, beauty, and design- 
ful contrivance of the world. The remarkable con- 
sideration is, that all this is otherwise precisely in these 
sensational days in which our own lot has fallen. We 
are enormously in advance of Anaxagoras in our know- 
ledge of the sun and moon, which, he said, he was born 
to speculate — in our knowledge of the whole heaven, 
to which he pointed as his country ; but increase of 
knowledge, instead of guiding and directing us, like 
Anaxagoras, more and more to mind, seems to have 
completely turned us round to matter. The stars are 
matter, and the sun, and moon, and planets ; neither 
is it a principle from within that would give them 
union and society, but only tether, a matter from with- 
out, that, according to some, shall compress them. 
Matter here, matter there, matter everywhere. Particles 
of matter that, in mechanical rushing to their clash, 
shall take fire, and flame out suns. Particles of matter 
that, in inevitable mechanical swirl and sweep, shall 
be as worlds around the fires. Worlds and fires, for all 
that, which, sooner or later, shall be as cold and useless 
as the spur of Percy. Throw the spur of Percy into 
space, and let it sink : even as that spur, we are to 
follow our whole universe into an eternal cold, into 
an eternal dark, into an eternal wilderness. Astronomy 
gives us no hint of life. Geology gives us that much — 
geology does indeed tell of life ; but geology is powerless 
to save us. Geology transports weathering into the sea, 
and is the while, almost even in the single word, the epic 
of the elements, piped by the winds, in flash of the sun, 
to the dash of the rain; but geology can only join 
astronomy in the end, and speak our doom. Spare is to 
be an infinite tomb: over that tomb time shall be an 
infinite pall. Existence may have been — a bubble, that 


no sooner was than it burst, but what properly is, what 
truly is, are in everlasting silence, in everlasting cold, 
in the everlasting dark — two dead corpses, two dead 
infinitudes, the corpse and the infinitude of space, the 
corpse and the infinitude of time. But what are space 
and Lime themselves ? If they are the infinitudes, if 
they are the eternities, perhaps it is precisely in them 
that we shall find some light. And shapes, more am- 
biguous and equivocal than time and space are, it is 
impossible to conceive — at once the mockingest of 
shadows and the toughest of stuffs — now described as 
the very warp and woof on which the universe is 
stretched, and now as the most unsubstantial playthings 
of dream. To one, Mr. Hodgson, they are " immediately 
and ineradicably certain," the basis of cognition, the 
" corner-stone of philosophy ; " to another, Carlyle, they 
are but the two " world -enveloping appearances," the 
" canvass " for all other " minor illusions," if there to 
" clothe " us, there also to " blind " us, as it is into their 
quality all that is resolves. Berkeley (WW. iv. 468), 
to whom this " world without thought is nee quid, nee 
quantum, nee quale" declares " time a sensation, and 
therefore only in the mind ; space a sensation, and 
therefore not without the mind ; " while, even to the 
sober, sensible, and somewhat prosaic Dr. Beid (WW. 
324, 343), space, looming up there " an immense, 
eternal, immovable, and indestructible void or emptiness," 
is " potentially only, not actually," and time is " a dark 
and difficult object," " a beginning in which is only a 
contradiction." The monadology of Leibnitz, as is easy 
to know, could give no authority to the perception of 
sense, and no external reality to the forms of space and 
time, which in some way only resulted to us from our 
perception of the interaction among things. All the 
early writings of Kant, those, namely, that preceded the 



Dissertatio de mundi sensibilis atque intelligibUis form" 1 1 
principiis, which did itself precede and usher in the 
Kritik of Pure Reason — in almost every one of these 
early writings, there is such mention of time and space 
as proves the great interest of Kant, from the very first, 
in their regard. 

As is only to be expected, Kant is seen in these 
writings to he for long in respect of time and space 
a follower of Leibnitz. In his Gedanken von der wahren 
Schatzung der lebendigen Krafte, for example, he holds 
that " there would be no space and no extension, if 
things had not a power to act out of themselves ; for 
otherwise there would be no connection, while with- 
out connection there would be no order, and with- 
out order no space." He even goes on to say, " It 
is probable that the three dimensions of space derive 
from the law of the interaction of substances; and 
substances interact so that the force of their action 
is inversely as the square of their distances." And. 
eight or nine years later, we have the same doctrine. 
in his Nova dilucidatio principiorum primorum cogni- 
tionis metaphysics, as where he says : nexu substantia runt 
abolito, successio et tempus paritcr faccssv.nt (the con- 
nection of substances being withdrawn, succession and 
time are equally withdrawn). In his Monadologia 
physica, about the same time, he characterizes space 
as substantialitatis plane coopers, as plainly devoid of 
substantiality, and as but the phaenomenon, the appear- 
ance or show, of " the external relation of the monads 
in union." What is remarkable, however, is that in 
1768, writing his brief paper, Vom crstcn Grande des 
Unterschiedes der Gegenden im Fuiivnic, he, as it were, 
turns his back upon himself, and attempts to prove 
cogently, and with conviction, that space is an absolute 
reality and no mere Gedankending — that is remark- 


able; but it is more remarkable still that, in 1770, 
only a further two years, we find the dissertation " con- 
cerning the form and principles of the sensible and 
intelligible world," in large part, written to prove space 
a mere subjective appendicle of sense as sense. This 
is Kant's last position relatively, and in the sequel he 
never varies from it. Still there are in the writings 
of the different dates, the vacillation on the part of 
Kant, and the contradiction in question. What con- 
cerns us, however, is the fact that Kant did decide 
in the end both space and time to be but forms of 
our own sensory within us, into which perceptively 
received, disposed, and arranged by aid of the categories 
and their schemata, the contributions of our special 
senses stood up and out at length, apart from us, as 
though an infinite universe around us and inhabited 
by us. 

These, then, are great authorities ; and there seems that 
even in space and time (on every supposition), which 
would call a halt to the conclusions of the sensationists. 
But, unfortunately, we cannot expect every one to be 
at home with the subtleties of metaphysic, or with 
what may appear the mere dreams of philosophy. 
One would like, so far as, in some respects, it seems 
hostile and obstructive to the interests of Natural 
Theology — one would like to approach science in that 
regard, on its own grounds, and to enter into it on 
its own terms. Suppose we leave aside all questions 
of a beginning, and equally all questions of an end. 
Suppose we take the world even as we see it, or rather 
even as astronomical science sees it at this very moment. 
Well — there is the sun by day ; and there is the 
spectacle of the heavens by night. What does astro- 
nomy say of all that, not as it conceives it to have 
begun, and not as it conceives it to be predestinated 


to end, but simply as it is. And as it is, it was seen 
in his prime by Anaxagoras, more than two thousand 
three hundred years ago. That is a long time in the 
life of man ; but, in the life of the universe, it would 
seem, so far as difference is concerned, simply to drop 
out. The sun and the moon that we see now from 
the streets of Edinburgh, Anaxagoras saw then from 
the streets of Athens. Our Sirius was, for Anaxasraras, 
his Sirius too ; and so it was with the Hyades and 
the Pleiades, and Castor and Pollux, and the Milky 
Way as well. "What lie saw led him, the only sober 
man among mere inebriates, according to Aristotle, to 
speak of an order and a beauty that could be due to 
intelligence only. Almost in our own days, the 
experience of Anaxagoras was precisely that of Kant. 
The starry heaven above him was one of the only 
two things that filled his soul with ever new and 
increasing wonder and veneration the more and the 
oftener he reflected. " In effect," he says again, " when 
our spirit is filled with such reflections, the aspect 
of the starry heavens on a clear night, aw T akens in 
us a joy which only noble souls are capable of feel- 
ing ; in the universal calm of nature, and in the 
peace of sense, the hidden faculty of the immortal 
soul speaks to us indescribably, and breathes into 
us mysterious thoughts, which ma}' be felt, but not 
possibly named." There, then, it is, that starry heaven 
— there — in infinite space above us, globe upon globe, 
in their own light and in the light of each oilier. 
all wheeling, wheeling in and out, and round and 
round, and through each other, in a tangle of motion 
that has still a law, not without explosions in this 
one and the other from within, doubtless, that would 
sound to us, did we hear them, louder, dreader, more 
awfully terrific than any thunder of the tropics, that 


would sound to us, did we hear them, veritably as 
the crack of doom — well, just to think it, all that is 
taking place, all that is going on, all these globes 
are whirling in a darkness blacker than the mouth of 
wolf, deeper than in the deepest pit that ever man 
has sunk, — all that is going on, all that is taking 
place in a darkness absolute ; and more, all that is 
going on, all that is taking place — for exploding 
globes even — in a silence absolute, in a silence dead, 
in a silence that never a whisper — never the faintest 
whisper, never the most momentary echo breaks ! Is 
not that extraordinary ? but it is no less true than 
extraordinary. Undulations there are, doubtless, that 
are light to its; but no undulation will give light to 
them, the globes. Vibrations there are, doubtless, where 
there is air, that are sound to us ; but all vibrations 
are as the dead to them. It is in a cave, in a den, 
blacker than the blackest night, soundless and more silent 
than the void of voids, that all those intermingling motions 
of the globes go on — but for us, that is ; but for an eye 
and an ear, and a soul behind them ! That cannot be 
denied. The deepest astronomical philosopher, en- 
tranced in what he sees, entranced in what he fancies 
himself to hear, must confess that, but for himself 
and the few and feeble others that are like himself, 
all would be as dark as Erebus, all would be as 
silent as the grave. But as the hour now is, you 
will allow me to bring this home — you will allow me to 
point the lesson in a future lecture. 


Astronomy, space, time, the vovg — Kant, Fichte, Sclielling — Carlylo, 
the Sartor — Emerson — Plato — Aristotle — A beginning— The 
want of eye and ear again — Deafness and blindness together — 
Design restored— Thomson—Diogenes of Apollonia — Socrates — 
Meteorology and practical action — Morality and ethicality — 
The first teleological argument — Proofs of design — Bacon — 
Socrates finally. 

We resume where we left off at our last meeting. The 
universal conclusions, we may say, of every writing on 
astronomical science which we may chance to take up 
now-a-days, in regard to the eventual entombment of the 
whole present system of things as a single cold corpse in 
a perpetual grave of space, under a perpetual pall of time 
— these conclusions brought us, at the close of our last 
lecture, to some consideration, firstly, of space and time 
themselves, and then, secondly, of the heavens above us, 
at once as, to astronomical observation, they presently 
are, and, historically, always have been. We have still 
to bring home what was said then ; and here it may be 
perhaps well, indeed, not to expand, but just a little to 
open statements. The subject, certainly, has fairly come 
to us in connection with the assertion of the presence of 
vovs, intelligence, in the general system around us — an 
assertion which such a science as this of Natural Theo- 
logy, with peril of its very life, requires to make good ; 
at the same time that, obviously, on the contrary sup- 
position, with such an eternity of night and the grave 
before us as astronomy predicts, it would be just as well 


to say as little as possible, whether of the vov$ of 
Anaxagoras, or of the Natural Theology of anybody else. 
In regard to time and space, we had strong evidence of 
their very peculiar nature on many hands, even on the 
part of Reid, at once the sworn foe of idealism, and 
equally the sworn friend of common sense. After vacilla- 
tion, Kant's final opinion was such as we find expressed 
in these words of his own (Text-Book to K. p. 157): 
" Were our subject abstracted from, or simply the sub- 
jective constitution of our senses, all the qualities and all 
the relations of objects in s>pace and time — nay, space 
and time themselves — would disappear : for all these are, 
as mere appearances to sense, incapable of existing in 
themselves, but only in us." And if such was the 
doctrine of Kant, it cannot be said, on the whole, that 
his immediate successors differed from it at least as 
regards the general ideal quality of space and time. 
Fichte, for example, laboriously deduces, in his dialectical 
manner, the construction and setting out of time and 
space in the imagination. Schelling, again, while simply 
taking his material from the hands of Fichte, and as 
Fichte himself gave it him, remained, all through his life, 
sufficiently an idealist to believe in the ideality of space 
and time. In a writing, dated 1804 (vi. 223), he will 
be found saying, '•' Space, purely as such, is, even for the 
geometrician, nothing real;" and again, "independently 
of the particular things, space is nothing." In his 
Transcendental Idealism of 1800, which, however, is 
little more than a rdchauffe of Fichte's Wisscnschaftslehre, 
he had already said (iii. 470) : " Time is only inner sense 
becoming to its own self object; space is outer sense 
becoming object to inner sense." 

We referred then to the same belief on the part of 
Carlyle. In that magnificent chapter of the Sartor Resartus 
which bears the title of " Xatural Supernaturalism," he 


will be found, on a considerable canvass, to speak both fully 
and grandly on this special topic. Carlyle himself calls this 
section of his work a " stupendous section ; " and it is a 
stupendous section, — I suppose the very first word of a 
higher philosophy that had been as yet spoken in Great 
Britain, — I suppose the very first English word towards 
the restoration and rehabilitation of the dethroned upper 
powers, which, for all that, I fear, under our present 
profound views in religion and philosophy, remain still 
dethroned. Here it is, as the words are, that the 
" professor first becomes a seer." Hitherto he has been 
struggling with all manner of " phantasms," " super- 
annuated symbols, and what not ; " but now he has 
" looked fixedly on existence, till, one after the other, its 
earthly hulls and garnitures," time and space themselves, 
" have all melted away," and to " his rapt vision, the 
celestial Holy of Holies lies at last disclosed." As 
intimated, it is especially the stripping off of these two 
" world-enveloping phantasms," space and time, that has 
enabled him to attain to such grand consummation and 
blissful fruition. The "deepest of all illusory appear- 
ances," he exclaims, they are " for hiding wonder," the 
wonder of this universe. They hide what is past and 
they hide what is to come ; but yet, as he exclaims again, 
" Yesterday and to-morrow both ' are : " " with God as it 
is a universal here, so is it an everlasting now." As 
Carlyle himself says, it is in this chapter that he attains 
to " Transcendentalism," and to a sight at last of " the 
promised land, where Palingenesia, in all senses, may be 
considered as beginning." And certainly, as I say, 
Sartor Resartus itself was a first attempt to reconstruct 
and revindicate those substantial truths of existence, 
which are the enduring, firm, fast, fixed, ineradicable 
foundations of humanity as humanity, — humanity in the 
individual, humanity in the kind. 



However much the general testimony of Emerson be in 
this vein of Carlyle, it is not in my recollection that I can 
quote him specially in regard to time and space. He does 
say in that reference, " Therefore is Space, and therefore 
Time, that man may know that things are not huddled and 
lumped, but sundered and individual : " that is, time and 
space are there for " the perception of differences ; " but 
they must disappear, as beams and joists of the mere out- 
ward, into his general idealism. Emerson regards " nature 
as a phenomenon, not a substance." He attributes 
" necessary existence to spirit," but esteems nature only 
" as an accident and an effect." He says once, " Even the 
materialist Condillac, perhaps the most logical expounder 
of materialism, was constrained to say, ' Though we 
should soar into the heavens, though we should sink into 
the abyss, we never go out of ourselves ; it is always our 
own thought that we perceive.' " The quotation in itself 
is excellent ; but it is strange that Emerson should 
attribute to Condillac, what is so prominent in David 
Hume; not but that Condillac may have paraphrased 
Hume, whom Emerson, like most students of his day, 
under the influence of Coleridge possibly, openly de- 
preciated and disparaged. It is a later series of Kantian 
studies that has brought up Hume again. Emerson is 
probably happier when he attributes to a French philo- 
sopher the saying that " material objects are necessarily 
kinds of scoriae of the substantial thoughts of the 
Creator." It is Emerson himself who says, and it is one 
of the most beautiful things that ever lias been said, 
" Infancy is the perpetual Messiah, which comes into the 
arms of fallen men, and pleads with them to return to 

Before leaving the consideration that w T e have here, it 
may be pointed out that there are views in Plato and 
Aristotle relatively, which are not essentially different. 


Apart from the general philosophy of Plato, there is a 
reference to Time in the Timacus (37 E-38 A) which is 
manifestly of an ideal import. The parts of time there, 
the was and the will be, are called but phenomenal forms, 
which we wrongly transfer to what is noumenally eternal ; 
" for we say, in a time reference namely, it was, it is, it 
will be ; whereas of what truly is, we can only say it is." 
As regards Aristotle again, what he has to say in this 
connection would of itself constitute an excellent in- 
troduction to metaphysic proper, for it is full of the 
subtlest turns possible, and requires the intellect that 
would follow them to have sharpened itself, at least for 
the nonce, to the fineness of a razor. The mention of 
one or two of them, however, must here suffice. As 
regards space, for example, it is enough to point out that 
to Aristotle it cannot demand for itself a place, so to 
speak, whether in heaven or in hell. Of the two known 
elements, that is, it is without a claim upon either. It 
cannot pretend to mind or soul ; for its extension excludes 
it : and just as little can it profess itself corporeal ; for it 
has got no body. The prestidigitation, or jugglery, that 
time exacts, is subtler and more irritating still. All 
other things, for example, consist of parts that are; and, 
on that necessity, time itself cannot be, for, in view of 
the past and the future, it consists of parts that are not. 
But leaving all such finenesses aside, we may limit our- 
selves to the distinct avowal on Aristotle's part, in the 
last chapter of the fourth book of the Physics, that, as to 
how time is, when viewed in reference to a mind, " one 
might doubt whether, if there were no mind, time would 
be or would not be." 

Now, the purpose of all this that concerns time and 
space is to suggest that the constitution of them may be 
somewhat in the way of the constitution of a universal 
beginning or a universal end, as postulated by science. 


Till the world began, there was, conceivably, neither 
time nor space ; and when the world ends, it is equally 
conceivable that neither will remain. In short, ideal 
considerations must be allowed to interfere with all such 
materialistic conclusions as, excluding vovs, intelligence, 
from any role, part, place, or share in the composition of 
the universe, would summarily truncate all pretensions of 
a so-called Natural Theology, and concisely close this 
lecturer's vocation. 

But now, again, what was all that about black wolves' 
throats, and palls, and graves, and Erebus', and what 
not ? How is that to be brought home to us, and what 
is the lesson that is to be pointed ? Well, in a word, all 
that is just this : — kill us all off, and the likes of us, 
wherever to be found — kill us all off in the universe, I 
say, and from that moment all is dark, and all is silent 
as the grave. The in and out, and round about, of all 
the stars in the firmament, of Arcturus and Aldebaran, of 
Vega, Spica, and Capella, of Alamak, Alpharat, and Scheat, 
of Ophiuchus and Fomalhaut, and every myriad spark 
and sparkle in the Milky Way may go on ceaselessly still, 
by day, by night, but henceforth in a silence absolute — 
in a darkness dense, impenetrable. That, let move what 
move may ; that, indeed, will be all — a solid soundless- 
ness, a substantial black ! What, you will say, will there 
not be Charles's Wain still circling in the north, and 
Cassiopeia's Chair, like a swarm of busy bees, and the 
glorious constellation of Orion, with his grand belt of 
three, and in his surpassing brightness Sirius, and the 
Pleiades in their pallor ? Or simply, as regards this 
earth of ours, do you mean to say that the thunder will 
no longer roll nor the lightning flash — or just to reduce 
and confine it to a single point, do you mean to say that, 
though there were not a single life in the whole solar 
system, the sun would not continue to shine ? Well, now 


that is just what I do mean to say. But for a living eye, 
but for a living ear. there would be no light in the sun. 
no voice in the thunder. Vibration in the air, caused by 
whatever it may, is sound in the ear; but the vibration 
itself is soundless, it is but a mechanical tremble, a 
mechanical quiver ; alone and by itself it is in silence 
only, there is not the very suggestion of a tone or a note 
in it. So it is with light. Similar to the vibrations of 
the air there are the undulations of the aether. These 
undulations are light in the eye, but in themselves — 
alone and by themselves — they are darkness itself. 
Without an eye and without an ear all those globes in 
the heaven around us career among themselves in a 
single unbroken black that has not a sound in it. The 
darkness is still in its size monstrous, it is still equal to 
the infinitude of space. But, all dark, does it not seem 
to lose its proportions and to contract somehow ? What 
are all these enormous differences in that one dark \ 
Let them be as they may, they are all, as it were, within 
the hollow of a single den. But if these great globes are 
only to wheel and wheel, and circle and circle, in a single 
silent den, why should they be so huge — why should they 
be at such vast distances ? Let them draw nearer each 
other, let them shrink in themselves : still, to all intents 
and purposes, there is scarce a change, all every where to 
our minds remains pretty much the same. Quantity is 
but relative; there is no absolute large, there is no 
absolute small. The earth, possibly, is but as a pea to 
Sirius ; Sirius, possibly, but as a pin's point to the Magellan 
clouds. After all, the mighty black of space is no more 
than an indefinite cave — a den — no more than as a black- 
hole of Calcutta. It is as though it were in a black 
hole of Calcutta that, without an eye, all the operation^ 
of the firmament proceed. Quantity has pruned itself, 
quantity has retrenched its idle, useless dimensions — very 

86 GIFFORD lecture the fifth. 

idle, very useless if in a single, soundless dark ; quantity 
has retired into a black hole of Calcutta, but if into a 
black hole of Calcutta, why not into the butt of a mantua- 
maker's thimble ? There ! that is the result ! Without 
an eye to see, and without an ear to hear, the world, 
whether for magnitude or for use, were no worse or 
better, did it compress the operation of its dimensions 
from the infinitude of space into the butt of a mantua- 
maker's thimble ! I have actually seen the world almost 
so compressed. Years ago, at a Welsh ironwork, I found 
a man, a fireman, who, from some injury in the course of 
his occupation, had incurred an inflammation that cost 
him not only the sight of both his eyes, but even, by its 
extension, the hearing of both his ears. He was still in 
the vigour of life. He might have been yoked, like a 
beast of burden, to some mechanical appliance ; but 
otherwise he was useless. He was left (with a small 
pension, I fancy) to some poor people who took care of 
him. Henceforth, for the poor fellow, there was only a 
life of dream. Night and day, day and night, he lay 
warm in his bed, shut up, like a cat before the fire, into 
the bliss of subjectivity, bare subjectivity — so to speak, 
brute subjectivity, physical, corporeal subjectivity. He 
rose only when his smell told him that his meals were 
ready. The senses of smell and taste he enjoyed, 
evidently, with the intensest avidity ; but still there was 
one pleasure which, during his meals, he seemed to enjoy 
more than the pleasures of either of these. It was a 
pleasure of touch ; but it was a human pleasure. His 
poor face wore a smile, a sweet smile, a smile of our 
common reason, as he fed the cat that rubbed on his legs 
only, knowing the uselessness of a mew ! Now to that 
man the world was contracted into a silent dark, where 
his meals were, and the cat that rubbed on his legs. 
What, then, would the world be were all mankind as he ? 


What would the world be were there no such things as 
an eye and an ear within the immeasurable vast of its 
entire infinitude ? So far as any use or purpose is con- 
cerned, would it be any bigger or better than a black hole 
of Calcutta, — would it be any bigger or better than the 
butt of a mantua-maker's thimble? To any one who 
will approach to look, an eye, an ear is as much a 
necessity in the realization, is as much involved in the 
very plan, of the universe, as matter and molecules, and 
the immensity of space itself. But the moment we see 
that, we see design also. We see that intelligence has 
gone to the composition of the universe. We have come 
to be sober, like Anaxagoras, in the midst of inebriates, 
and, like him, we proclaim the vovs. There is, then, a 
reality in our science of Natural Theology, and we can 
still exclaim with the poet of the Seasons: — 

" These, as they change, Almighty Father, these 
Are hut the varied God. The rolling year 
Is full of Thee. Forth in the pleasing spring 
Thy heauty walks. . . . 

Then comes the glory in the summer months. . . . 
Thy bounty shines in autumn unconfined. . . . 
In winter, awful Thou ! with clouds and storms, 
Majestic darkness ! 

Mysterious round ! what skill, what force divine, 
Deep-felt, in all appear ! " 

For our purpose of Natural Theology, it is Diogenes 
of Apollonia that offers himself next to our consideration ; 
but I leave what I have on him aside, and pass at once 
to Socrates. 

The position of Socrates on the historical roll, as well 
of civilisation as of philosophy, is, like that of Anaxagoras, 
a sole and singular one. If Anaxagoras introduced the 
consideration of purpose in an intellectual regard, it was 
Socrates that turned the attention of mankind to the 


same principle in practical application. It was with him 
as though he had said, Anaxagoras cannot apply his 
principle meteorologically — in the heavens, that is ; he has 
only announced it meteorologically; neither can I apply 
it meteorologically, but let us see whether it has an 
application or not to human life. I do not know that 
there is anything to be got from the trees and the fields, 
• but there is a good deal to be got from the market-place, 
and the gymnasia, and the people in them. Accordingly, 
what new principle Socrates introduced was that of 
morality. By this word, however, there is something 
else and more to be understood than it usually suggests. 
As far as that goes, it is to be hoped, indeed, that there 
was morality upon the earth, that there was morality 
in mankind, that there was morality among the Greeks, 
before even Socrates appeared among them. The old 
Die-hards of the Medic wars, to say nothiug of those 
of times yet earlier, old Trojans say, were surely not 
without morality. The distinction is this. The old 
morality, the old virtue, was an unconscious morality, an 
unconscious virtue. These men of old only did what 
they did. They did what they did without a thought of 
themselves. They thought, indeed, and they thought 
well ; but their thoughts were not properly conscious or 
self-conscious thoughts. Their thoughts were instinctive, 
natural, as the blood in their veins, as the breath they 
drew, as the food they ate. They made, in a way, no 
merit to themselves of what they did. What they did, 
and why, was but as the institutions of their country, 
was but part and parcel of their streets and houses, was 
but as the common voice, the common sound, the common 
hum of the agora. They and the State were not different 
individuals, they and the State were one. Their life was, 
as it were, foetal as yet, foetal in the State, their mother, 
and there was the common circulation still between them: 


the medium of thai circulation was the laws familiar to 
them, the beliefs they all believed, the patrimonial use 
and wont, and established manners, bo to speak, naiured 
in them. If we can so name the distinction, morality 

was then ethicality. Both are right doing, but ethi- 

cality is the right doing according to the conseieiu I 

the State, of the community, while morality is right 
doiim according to the conscience of the individual: 
Or both are virtue: the one the virtue of the public, 
the other the virtue of the private, conscience. As it is 
in the Bible with the words and the thoughts, which still 
seem, as it were, vitally connected ; so it is here with the 
State and the individual, the universal and the particular : 
both are still one. Existence is as yet objective •. sub- 
jectivity has still to appear. Now thus it was in Greece 
upon the whole, up almost to the time of Pericles and 
the Peloponnesian war. But, during, say, some two- 
hundred years before that, the philosophical consciousness 
had been gradually growing, and, no doubt, during the 
same time, the common mind correspondently altering. 
After Anaxagoras, the rate of progress, or, as it may be 
thought, regress, regress especially in a public respect it 
unquestionably was — after Anaxagoras the rate of 
change became greatly accelerated. Publicly such men 
as Alcibiades and Lysander were but poor substitutes for 
such others as Leonidas and Miltiades. Then there were 
the Sophists, occupying a position not quite public, nor 
yet again quite private. In these respect 9 there was 
regress; but what we have in Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, 
who came next, is progress, and compared with what 
result preceded it, progress nameable pretty well infinite. 
Almost it would seem as though Anaxagoras by his 
reference to the vovs had concentrated all attention on 
intelligence as intelligence; which was raised, as it were, 
well-nigh to the position of an Absolute then when the 


Sophists said or seem to have said to themselves, That 
absolute shall he ours, ours in our individual consciousness 
it thought is to be the principle, and the authority, 
and the deciding consideration, then that thought is ours 
even as we are: it is we alone; it is men alone, who 
think. Socrates, now, was a reflective, considerate 
personality who turned over everything in his mind to 
see what it came to, what was the worth of it. But 
i inning from the fields and the trees to the homes and 
haunts of men, the interests that were offered for that 
reflection and consideration of his could only be of a 
practical nature. That is, what immediately presented 
itself to him was, as we may term it, the ethicality of 
the past, which, shaken in the present, promised but 
poorly for the future. So it was, in his hands, that 
ethicality became morality — in this way that, ethicality 
being taken into his consciousness and there looked at, 
cprestioned, and examined, had to make good its claim 
to its authority of heretofore. Virtue, that is, what was 
right and good, was now before the bar of the single 
consciousness, but in a universal regard. And it was 
that regard, the universality of that regard, that, for the 
first time, realized in history and the life of man, 
morality as morality. Actions, if they had been ethical 
before, were now to be moral. On the question of right 
or wrong, the tribunal of sentence was now within, and 
no longer without. The individual was now referred to 
his own self, to his own responsibility, to his own con- 
science and judgment. But the conscience or judgment 
must not be, as with the Sophists, a private one, in this 
sense that the individual was to consider only what was 
good for himself as this particular individual that he 
was, Callicles, Cebes, Chaerephon, or another. No ; it 
was not one of these as one of these, Callicles as Callicles, 
Cebes as Cebes, Chaerephon as Chaerephon, that was to 


be considered — not each as he was in his immediate 
individuality, but each as he was in hia universality, 

each as he was iii his manhood, each as he was in his 
humanity. The conscience thai was to decide, the judg- 
nii-iit thai was to pass sentence, must be a universal 
conscience, must lie a universal judgment Now that 
universality could, ;is was plain to Socrates, only come 
by knowing. And so ii was that to Socrates virtue was 
knowledge or a knowledge. So far, too, Socrates was 
perfectly right. The individual will universalize his 
nature only by knowledge. It is by knowledge that the 
individual musl excavate himself; it is by knowledge 
that he must dredge and deepen himself; by knowledge 
that he must widen hi- walls, and raise his roof, letting 
in light and fresher air upon himself. It is by know- 
ledge that ///"// — man as man — is made of men, Every 
true growth in a man's garden musl singly be gone round 
about, and tended with as much peculiarity of care as, 
under the impost, makes a perfect exemplar of every 
individual tobacco plant in France. Or we may say, in 
the camera of a man's soul, there falls many a blur mi 
the so sensitive crystal there; and it takes the cunning 
pouring on of chemicals to transmute the haze into 
transparency and shape. And all that is principally an 
affair of knowledge; but still we are not to forgel that 
knowledge alone is nut enough. Socrates was wrong 
there; and Aristotle added the training and discipline, 
the custom and practice that, with all knowledge, were 
still necessary to make man good — good not only in his 
knowledge, not only in his thoughts and wishes, but good 
also in his will, good in the acts and actions of his daily 

This, then, is what i- meant by savin- that Socrates 
was the first to introduce into the State morality as 
against ethicality. The ethicality of the State was still 


morality ; but it was the material morality of the organ- 
ized objectivity without, as against the ideal morality of 
the conscious subjectivity within. This is Socrates in 
his historical position; but, though averse to what is 
called meteorology, and even expressing himself against 
it, we know from what he confessed himself to have 
hoped to learn from Anaxagoras concerning the sun, and 
the moon, and the other stars, and the causes of all 
things — we know, from as much as this, I say, that 
Socrates still entertained a lively curiosity in respect to 
the constitution of this universe. That, indeed, could 
not fail the inquirer into the universal will, into the 
universal good and right. And it was from that side, 
in fact, that he had his interest in the universe. As an 
observer who saw, marked, and inwardly digested what 
he saw and marked, he could not be blind to the in- 
numerable proofs, as he said, of the goodness of the gods 
in care of animal life in the world around him. Man's 
body, for example, what a contrivance it was, — what 
an organism of contrivances it was for the support, pro- 
tection, and enjoyment of the soul that dwelt in it ! 
And in this way it is that we have from Socrates his 
various discourses on the evidences of design which he 
saw in man and in the life of man. In consequence of 
these discourses on design, indeed, and of the turn he 
gave them, it has been, so to speak, officially entered into 
the historical record that, of the three theoretical argu- 
ments for the existence of God, the argument from 
design was originated and first used by Socrates of 
Athens, the son of Sophroniscus the statuary and 
Phaenarete the midwife. Plato and Xenophon have 
pretty well deified this Socrates for many virtues and 
for many excellences ; and we have just seen how a very 
peculiar speciality of well -merited fame is justly his 
as originator, and first, in regard to a most important stage 


— in regard to a main epoch in the progress and develop- 
ment of morals and the moral principle in mankind ; 
lmt what lustre attaches to his name, in consequence of 
the argument from design, is only second to that in 
regard to morality. "This proof," says Kant (WW. ii. 
485), "deserves to be named always with reverence. It 
is the oldest, the clearest, and the most suited to our 
common understanding. It animates the study of nature, 
which gives existence to it, and acquires thereby ever 
new power. It shows ends and intentions where our 
own observation would never of itself have discovered 
them, and extends our knowledge of nature through 
guidance of a peculiar unity, the principle of which is 
above nature. The new knowledge acts back again 
towards its cause, its originating idea namely, and exalts 
our belief in a Supreme Originator into an irresistible 

We shall not deny as against this, that power probably 
was what first in the perception or feeling of men led 
them to the thought and the worship of the supernatural ; 
but we shall incline very much to agree with the opinion 
as to Greece having been the birthplace of the first teleo- 
logical argument for the being of a God. Only to men 
who had reached their majority, — only to men who looked 
about them in reason, and in full freedom were led in all 
their doings by reason, — only to such men was it at all 
probable that the "order" of this universe should, as in 
the case of Anaxagoras, for the first time, have shown 
itself. Only of reason could reason have been seen. 
But Kant is still right in regard to the value and im- 
portance of the argument itself. We may say, on the 
whole, it is the key to the position, and only with special 
satisfaction is it that we take it from the hand of 
Socrates. The precise source of our information in this 
respect is the Memorabilia of Xenophon. There we find 


Socrates conversing again and again on the evidence of 
design in nature and in the objects of nature. Since 
Kant, as we know, there are two ways of looking at 
design. There is a design that is to be named external, 
and a design as well that is to be named internal, or 
immanent, indwelling. Of these it is only the latter 
that is worthy of the name. In truth there is no design 
that is not internal and immanent. What is meant by 
external design is a purpose not intrinsic, but quite ex- 
trinsic to the relation concerned. The common joke of 
Goethe or Schiller in the Xcnkn about the cork-tree 
having manifestly its purpose, the reason of its being in 
the manufacture of bottle-corks, perfectly illustrates the 
idea, or that a clerk's ear was made that he might carry 
a pen in it ! And, certainly, in regard to some things 
adduced by Socrates, the designfulness is but contingent 
or external, inasmuch as the relation between the terms 
or factors in the connections alleged are not always seen 
to depend on qualities of agreement inherent in them. 
But when Socrates proceeds to refer to thought in man 
and its necessary exercise, as in discrimination and 
selection of the beautiful and useful, in the inventing of 
language, the enacting of laws, the establishing of govern- 
ment, etc., it is possible to demur to as much as that 
being a matter of mere externality. Nay, when with 
Aristodemus the little, he goes more into details in this 
department, as regards the constitution of the human 
body, say, it seems impossible to maintain that the 
design he signalizes is only external and extrinsic. 

The eyes, ears, nostrils, tongue, the various organs and 
their uses by no means evidently concern relations of 
accident. The eyelids that close when necessary, the 
eyelashes that are as a screen, even the eyebrows that 
are as eaves or copings to ward off the perspiration — I 
have never been able to persuade myself, as I find some 


others do, that these, too, involve correlations that are 
contingent only. In this reference, Bacon, for example, 
has the following in The Advancement of Learning (ii. 
7. 7) : "The cause rendered, that the hairs about the eye- 
lids are for the safeguard of the sigJtt, doth not impugn 
the cause rendered, that pilosity is incident to the orifices 
of moisture : muscosi fontes," etc. One is happy to see 
here that Bacon does still not deny, but admit final 
causes : " both causes," he expressly says, in the immedi- 
ate reference are " true and compatible, the one declaring 
an intention, the other a consequence only." But one 
does not find it merely self-evident for all that, that eye- 
lids must be pilous, even as fountains are mossy. The 
fountain makes a soil for low germs even out of its 
stony lip ; but the tears can hardly be conceived to do 
as much by the covered cartilage that borders the eye ; 
while the eyebrow and perspiration bring no analogy. 
I hold that an eye is immanent in nature, that an eye is 
a necessity of nature, and that, consequently, all is at 
first hand complete in that idea, — I hold this, and I am 
not ignorant of the vast varieties of the vast gradation 
of eyes which nature shows, — I hold this, and it is to 
me nothing against it that a lion's eyebrow, or a horse's 
eyebrow, is not exactly as is a man's eyebrow, or that 
such and such a tiny insect, microscopic insect if you 
will, has a score or twice a score of eyes. Nature is 
externality, nature is boundless external contingency, 
and the idea can only appear in nature as in externality, 
as in boundless external contingency. 

One hears of " the open secret of the universe : " now 
the open secret of the universe is just that idea — an 
idea and a secret, the bearing of which, on design at 
least, was not hid from Socrates, more than two thousand 
years ago. He tells Aristodemus that whatever mani- 
fests design is a product of thought and not of chance. 


He tells him all these things about the eyebrows, and 
the eyelids, and the eyelashes; and I daresay he could 
have told Bacon that it is not absolutely necessary for 
all moist animal orifices to be pilous. Among others, 
there are the lips, for example; the beard does not 
exactly grow on the lips ; neither is it the moisture of 
the lips that has anything to do with the pilosity of the 
beard. Besides what concerns the eye, etc., Socrates 
refers to the teeth, — the front ones to cut, and the back 
ones to grind. I mention this as it is insisted on also 
by Aristotle. Then it is really matter for congratulation 
to find Socrates dwelling on the thought that is present 
in the general structure of the world. Is it to be sup- 
posed, he asks, that it is only we have reason, and that 
there is none in the whole ? It is really wonderful how 
this man must reflect on everything, and give himself 
account of everything — the bare-footed, poorly - clad, 
street wanderer, pot-bellied and Silenus-faced, that was, 
perhaps, the wisest, best, and bravest man that was 
then alive. His God — and he was sincerely pious, he 
worshipped devoutly — His God was the God of the 
yvoofir), the understanding, the reason, which in admon- 
ishing Aristodemus he opposed to the ru^v, the chance, 
the accident and chance which, at least, as science rules, 
alone seem worshipped now-a-days. Nor had the pupil 
Plato missed the lesson; but of this again in our next. 


Plato — His position — His prose — Indebted to Socrates — Monotheism 
— The popular go» Is— Socrates' one principle — His method — 
Universalized by Plato- Epinomis — The Tvmaew — The i 
etc. — Kant here — Subject and object— Mechanical and final 
causes — The former only for the latter Identity and difference 
— Creation, the world — Time and (trinity — The Christian 
Trinity — The two goods — Religion, the Laws Prayer — Super- 
stition — Hume, Dugald Stewart, Samuel Juhnson, Buckle— The 
Platonic duality — Necessity and contingency — Plato's work. 

With the name of Plato, we feel that we are approaching 

one of the greatest figures in all time. As a philoso- 
pher, the first place, and without a single dissentient 
voice, was universally accorded him throughout the whole 
of antiquity. So completely was this the case, that it 
does not seem for a moment to have been as much as 
dreamt that even Aristotle could dispute it with him. 
Nay, it cannot be doubted that, at this very day, were 
the question put to the world at large as to which of the 
two philosophers were the greater, an immense majority 
of votes would be handed in for Plato. The very quality 
of his writing would, with the general public, readily 
secure for him this. With an ease and fulness that are 
natural simplicity merely, there is, as we can only name 
it, that amenity in the compositions of Plato that con- 
stitutes him, unapproachably, the greatest, sweetest, most 
delicate and delightful master of prose that ever wrote 
it. One can feel oneself here, then, in such a presence, 
only with a certain apprehension. What, however, comes 
to save us from being altogether oppressed at the call to 



speak on Plato, is the consideration that it is not of the 
great whole that we are required to give an account, but 
only of what in it has a bearing historically on the proofs 
for the Being of a God. And here we can see at once 
that Plato, as usual, only receives the torch from his 
master Socrates, not merely to carry it and hand it on to 
his further fellow, but to make it blaze withal both 
brighter and wider. That, too, is as much as to say 
that, said proofs being concerned, we have here, on the 
part of Socrates and Plato, two degrees in the advance 
to monotheism. What Socrates actually said in this 
regard comes to us in the course of his conversation, now 
with Aristodemus, and again with Euthydemus, as re- 
spectively recorded in the first and fourth books of the 
Memorabilia. It is as to delov, simply as the Divinity, 
he characterizes the gods, when he speaks of them to the 
former as " seeing and hearing all things at once, as being 
everywhere present, and as equally caring for all things ;" 
while to Euthydemus he names one sovereign god, and 
others subordinate. " The other gods," he says, " who 
give us good things do not come before us visibly in so 
doing, and he who regulates and keeps together the whole 
world — he is manifest as thus effecting what is greatest, 
but even in such consummation he, too, is invisible to 
us." There is (no doubt) in such words as these a 
monotheistic tinge; but it is not yet pure. In that 
regard, there is a certain advance in Plato; he still 
makes respectful reference to the popular gods, in what- 
ever has a public bearing, at the same time that, in 
other circumstances, he reprobates, as in the second book 
of the Republic, the traditional fables about the parti- 
cular gods almost as though these gods themselves were 

If we do but consider, however, the scientific prin- 
ciples which dominated the thoughts, whether of Plato 


or Socrates, we shall not wonder at this. As we have 
seen, the one great principle of Socrates was the good, 
whether in a moral or a physical regard ; for even in the 
adjustment of the external universe, he took it with 
enthusiasm from the hand of Anaxagoras that all was 
for the best, or that everything precisely was where it 
best should be. Xow, there was unity in the very 
thought here. If all was for a purpose, and if we were 
all to strive to a single end, there was necessarily a 
direction given in our thoughts and wills towards a 
single power. The whole tendency of such teaching 
could not but be monotheistic — could not but lead away 
from the traditional gods with question and doubt. 
Plato directly says, " God, least of all, should have many 
shapes;" and again, " God is what is absolutely simple 
and true" (Rep. 381 B and 382 E). 

The mental attitude on the part of Socrates, to which 
his principle was the vital force, has been made 
abundantly plain to us both by Xenophon and Plato. 
Almost any single conversation in the one, or dialogue in 
the other, will suffice for proof. So far, there is a certain 
sameness in them all. For example, let us but hear, on 
the one hand, Socrates ask Hippias what Beauty is ; and, 
on the other hand, Hippias answer Socrates that it is a 
beautiful maiden, — let us but hear such question and 
answer, knowing well the retort of Socrates in the end, 
that he does not want to know what a beautiful p 
is, but what is Beauty itself, and we are well-nigh 
admitted to the very heart of the mystery. Beauty 
itself, courage itself, justice itself — that was the perpetual 
quest of Socrates. This quest of his, too, was, on the 
whole, always in a moral direction. It was always, also, 
by a certain dissection of the very thinking of hi- respon- 
dent, or opposite, that he came to his result Now, what 
Plato did was simply to universalize all this. As he 


deified the man Socrates, so he deified his work. Firstly, 
to extend the moral quest of Socrates into the whole field 
of knowledge, — this for Plato was to discover the Ideas. 
Then, again, secondly, the mental dissection of Socrates 
became for Plato his express Dialectic. While, thirdly 
and lastly, what was an indefinite unity, or " scattering 
and unsure " unities with Socrates, was carried up by 
Plato into the single unity of the Good — a good that was 
to Plato more than moral good, more than a summating 
and consummating goodness — a good that was to Plato 
God. And all that is in our own direction — all that 
is towards monotheism — all that is towards Natural 
Theology — all that is towards realization of the proofs for 
the Existence and Attributes of God. 

Even in that reference, even specially in the matter of 
design, we may, not altogether wrongly, assume Plato to 
have still followed his master ; but in him we do not 
find, so easily and so commonly as in Socrates, instances 
of what we may call particular design. As we saw, 
indeed, the design instanced by Socrates was not always 
free from the reproach of externality. For example, we 
do get many advantages from the animals we have 
domesticated ; but we can hardly intimate, as Socrates 
would seem to wish, that pigs and poultry were directly 
made for us. Illustrations in this kind are, perhaps, 
chiefly or alone to be found in Plato, when, as in the 
Timaeiis, he is engaged in his fanciful description of the 
construction of man. There is a passage in the Upinomis 
that refers to the earth producing fruits for us and food 
for animals, as well as to winds and rains that we see 
to be seasonable and in measure. The Epinomis is denied 
to Plato, and transferred to Philip of Opuntium. Philip, 
however, as a pupil of Plato's, may, possibly, in this case, 
be only repeating his master. The illustration, too, how- 
ever external on the whole, is not insusceptible of 


relative application, for I know not that it is unallowable 
to point to the possibility of human existence as dependenl 
on the totality of influences, though, for the rest, winds 
certainly do blow as they list, and rains certainly do fall 
on the barren sea and the unproductive desert. In the 
Timaeus we have (45 E) the eyelids and the hair 
(76 C and D) of the head spoken of ; the former as pro- 
tective, and the other as a covering, production by 
intention being assumed in both cases. Plato talks of 
the flesh simply as clothing, but designedly thin on the 
joints, not to impede motion (74 E). Had he been more 
of an anatomist, contracting muscles, with their pointed 
terminal tendons, would have better suited his purpose. 
The Timaeus dwells (46 E, 47 A) on the wonders of the 
eyes, too, and on the wonders of what has been submitted 
to them. But for the eyes, it is said, proof of the 
universe there would have been found none, since without 
them we should never have known of either stars, or sun, 
or heaven; but "now day and night and the changes of 
the year yield to us the knowledge of time, and the 
power of investigating the universe ; " and " from these we 
have attained to that thing called philosophy, than which 
a greater good has not ever come, nor ever will come, a 
gift from the gods to the race of mortals" (47 B). Here 
what Plato has in mind is simply the information we 
attain by sight, simply the intellectual advantage of that 
information. He has no idea of what the world would 
be, we may almost say, physically, were there no seeing 
subject anywhere to be found in it. Such an idea was, 
of course, impossible to Plato, who knew nothing about 
the undulations of the aether, etc. Something of the 
same thought, but more in a moral reference, occurs in 
Kant. He says in the Kritik of Judgment (§ 86), "If 
the world consisted of beings merely inanimate, or some 
animate and some inanimate, but the animate siill without 


reason, the existence of such a world would have no worth 
at all, for there would exist in it no being that possessed 
the slightest notion of any worth . . . the existence of 
rational beings under moral laws can alone be thought as 
final cause of the existence of a world." I may also 
remind you here of a quotation from Colebrooke which I 
specially emphasized as of future use. This, namely : 
" There must be one to enjoy what is formed for enjoy- 
ment : a spectator, a witness of it : that spectator is 
soul." Nature, as I said then, too, is not there independ- 
ently, self-subsistently, and on its own account : it is 
there only for a purpose and as a means. Evidently a 
universe without a spectator to make it his, object 
without subject, would be a gross self-stultification, a 
manifest meaninglessness, an idle anomaly, a palpable 
monstrosity, an arrant cheat. 

Proceeding nearer to our main subject of design 
generally, we may remark that, in the Timacus, Plato is 
very full and clear on that to us essential interest, final 
causes, and in their opposition to physical ones. " There 
are two genera of causes," he says {Tim. 68 E), " the one 
necessary and the other divine." The one cause, that of 
necessity, being subordinated to that of intellect, and 
made its minister and servant merely. " The genesis of 
this world," it is said (48), "has been effected by the con- 
junction of necessity and intellect ; " but necessity is 
under the rule of intellect. The causes of necessity, in 
short, are only " the accessory causes which the Deity, 
in realizing the idea of the possibly best, uses only as 
hodmen for the work ; " adding, however, that that " is 
not the conception of the most, who hold the causes of 
things to' be cold and heat, solidification and liquefaction, 
etc. ; but both causes ought to be spoken of." We see 
thus that it is here with Plato just as we saw it was with 
Socrates in reference to Anaxagoras. Both will insist on 


final causes as equally present with mechanical ones, but 
as being, at the same time, the ruling and directing 
powers of these, which are only the physical materials 
and mechanical agents in realization, so to speak, of the 
counsels and will of the causes we call final. This point 
of view is perfectly plain in Plato. He is perfectly well 
aware, he says, that there are those who maintain that the 
causes of necessity are the only causes, and that what arc 
named final causes are merely secondary causes that result: 
from these; that, for example, fire and water, and earth 
and air, are all of them from nature and chance, and none 
of thern from plan and contrivance — that, in short, chance 
and physical necessity are to be credited with the pro- 
duction of all things, heaven with all that is in it, the 
seasons, and earth, and animals, and plants. But he 
will still believe that earth, and sun, and all the stars, 
and the seasons so beautifully arranged in years and 
months, as well as the universal faith of man, whether 
Greek or barbarian, prove that there are gods. Besides 
this passage in the Laws (88 G), there is another to a 
like effect in the Timaeus. 

There are other two terms very current in Tlato, here 
at once in the Timaeus, for example, which involve pretty 
well the same distinction as the two kinds of causes do. 
They are identity and diiference, for to that meaning the 
Greek words ravrov and ddrepov amount. These are 
really, just as in the form of final and physical causes, 
the warp and woof of the whole divine fabric. The one, 
the same namely, or identity as identity, is the principle 
of the permanent, of that that eternally is. And that, 
plainly, is the side of the intellect, the side of tin night, 
the side of the in and in. The other, as the difference, 
the otherwiseness, is just as it is named, the other as 
other, the outer. This is the side of the show, of the 
e\t equalization, the side of the senses, the side of the 


mutable and transitory. Either, too, is necessary to the 
other. Identity would be indistinguishable unless differ- 
■ net d, differentiated. And what would be a difference that 
was only difference, and, by consequence, unidentified? 
The inner must be outered, the outer innered. Whatever 
is must be able to appear. The physical cause is but 
the realization of the final cause. The Bdrepov, the other, 
the difference, is but the realization of the ravrov, of that 
that is the same, of that that is the identity. 

But if there is a side of the intellect, if there is a final 
cause in the constitution of things, then design is at the 
heart of them, design is the root and the centre of the 
universe. And, in fact, it seems the very purpose of the 
entire dialogue of the Timaeus to prove this. That dia- 
logue may be named a teleological exposition throughout. 
The God, for the sake of what is good only, fabricates, in 
beauty and harmony, the entire world, and man in par- 
ticular. The former, indeed, the world, is itself described 
as a "blessed god," possessed of intelligence, life, and 
soul. All that is made in it is made after an eternal 
pattern, the most beautiful of things, and from the most 
perfect of causes. For the God is good, and there is 
never any grudge or envy in the good about anything 
whatever; and he made the world, consequently, to be 
like unto himself. Thus, then, this world has reason in 
it, and is truly made by the providence of God. Further, 
created most beautiful in the perfect image of the most 
beautiful, it is declared • sole and single ; for, as is 
implied, perfection needs no multiple. 

It is in this part of the Timaeus that Plato comes to 
the genesis of time. We have seen some of his ex- 
pressions in that reference already ; but it is difficult to 
follow him here. Difficult, I suppose, the subject itself 
proved to Plato, and his words are correspondently 
obscure. The notion itself of the Eternal Being that was, 


and is, and always will be, offered, as a notion, probabl) 
no hardship. It is easy to use the words, the predicates 
that describe what we conceive to be eternal, as, for 
example, in the terms of Plato, to say that the eternal, 
" what is always unmoved the same, can become by time 
neither older nor younger, nor has been made, nor appears 
now, nor will be in the future, nor can any of those things 
at all attach to it which mortal birth has grafted on the 
things of sense;" but how to bring into connection with 
this everlasting rest the never-resting movement of time 
— that is the difficulty. Plato seems to say that all the 
phenomena of sense are nothing but " the forms of t inn- 
imitating eternity, and moving numerically in its circle.' 
Now, if I read my own notion into these obscure words, 
perhaps it will help to the formation of no irrelevant idea. 
Suppose eternity a continuum, and time to measure the 
discrcta of it, — eternity to be a continuity, and time to 
enumerate the parts or divisions of it, — eternity to be a 
completed and an ever-enduring circle, ami time to be the 
counting, the traversing of the dots, the infinite dots, thai 
compose its periphery, — suppose we conceive this, then 
we may have something of a picture of both the unmoved 
and the moving, and yet in coherent relation. Now, that 
may be the truth. Time may be no straight line, as we 
are apt to figure it, but a curve — a curve that eventually 
returns into itself. In that way the phenomena of sense 
will be but as the hands of time externalizing its moments, 
the moments of time, even as the hands of the clock point 
out, or externalize, the divisions of the hour. 

But, leaving these dark matters, it is in this pari of 
Plato that we find that reflexion of the Christian Trinity 
which is so often referred to. The words Maker and 
Father occur about a dozen pages on from the beginning 
of the Timaeus. There it is said: "Of this the All, to 
find the Maker and Father is difficult, and having found 


him, it is impossible to declare him to all men." Farther 
on (37 0) we have this : " When the Father that created 
it saw it moving and alive, this the created image of the 
blessed gods, he was well pleased." We have seen this 
creation itself already called "a blessed god;" and a few 
pages earlier than the last quotation (at 31 A and B), 
unity, eh, is not only asserted of this " blessed god," but 
it is even called fiovoyevijs, a word that in St. John and 
elsewhere is always translated " only-begotten." This 
remarkable term, too, is to be found repeated at the very 
end of the dialogue. Lastly (50 D), we have this that is 
the " only-begotten " also called " Son." The Greek word 
is not tuc9, indeed, but still it is e/cyovos, a word of ex- 
actly the same import. On the whole it is not surprising 
that these expressions in Plato of an only-begotten Son, 
made in the image of the Father, should, on the part of 
the Christian world, have attracted so much attention. 
This passage in Plato probably it was that led the Fathers 
of the Church, followed by the ecclesiastical majority of 
the Middle Ages, to represent, as I formerly remarked, 
the existent world as the Son. The Jew, Philo of Alex- 
andria, it is to be said also, used, in respect of the world, 
the same expression of Son of God. We may note here, 
also, that Numenius of Apamea (a Pythagorean philoso- 
pher familiar with the writings of Plato, who lived in 
the second century) has distinct references to the Good 
as God, and to the world as his only-begotten Son. 
Philo was still a Jew at least forty years after the death 
of Christ, so that it is not to be thought that either he or 
Numenius had a Christian reference in the use of the phrase. 
Even as regards Plato, the analogy, I doubt not, is only 
to be characterized as verbal. What, in truth, he means 
by the two that he names here God and World or Son 
are simply the two principles which we have so often 
seen already — identity and difference ; the two causes, 


design and necessity, or the two Goods, as in the Laws 
(631 B), the divine and the human, the latter conditional 
on the former, so that " if any city receives the greater, 
it possesses also the less ; but if not, it is without either." 
" It is not possible," says Plato {Laws, 967 D), " for any 
one of mortal men to become permanently pious who 
accepts not these two affirmations, that the soul, as it is 
the eldest of all that is created, is immortal, and rules 
everything corporeal." That is, again, the duality in 
question, and we see it is made here the condition of 
piety ; for piety is to Plato always the ultimate result. 
" Whoso, according to the laws, believes that there are 
gods, he never willingly did a wrong deed nor spoke a 
wrong word" (Laivs, 8 85 B) : accordingly Plato is at 
pains to prove the existence, the power, and the justice 
of God. The whole of the tenth book of the Laws may 
be regarded as such proof ; and a very slight change 
might make the whole discussion of the religious element 
there assume quite a modern look. We are not surprised, 
then, in Plato, to find the first of every inquiry, as in 
the Timaeus (2 7 C), to be an invocation for the blessing 
of the God, and a prayer that whatever might be said 
should be agreeable to his will, and becoming to them- 
selves, the inquirers. And, probably, just such a state 
of mind is natural to humanity as humanity. I fancy 
that in front of any serious emergency, of any grave 
responsibility, invocation rises spontaneously in a man, 
were he even an atheist. No one to Plato (Epin. 989 D) 
can even teach, unless the God lead. This piety on the 
part of Plato, as on the part of Socrates his, has been 
stigmatized as superstition. 

Now, there are undoubtedly such things as supersti- 
tions, and they may exist in weak minds in such excess 
as seriously to interfere with the sound and healthy 
transaction of the business of life. " It is natural," 


says Hume {Nat. Hist, of Bel. iii.), " that superstition 
should prevail everywhere in barbarous ages." And then 
he tells us also of the superstition of the educated— of 
such men as Pompey, and the advanced Cicero, and the 
wily Augustus. " That great and able emperor," he says 
of the last, " was extremely uneasy when he happened 
to change his shoes, and put the right-foot shoe on the 
left foot." Dugald Stewart also is to be found quoting 
this same anecdote of Augustus, and reflecting some- 
what loftily on superstition occasionally appearing in the 
most enlightened. In illustration, he quotes a long 
paragraph from Bos well about Dr. Johnson counting his 
steps so as to have his left or right foot first in refer- 
ence to an entrance or an exit, and winds up with this 
reflection from his Professorial Chair : " They who know 
the value of a well-regulated and unclouded mind would 
not incur the weakness and wretchedness exhibited in 
the foregoing description for all his literary acquirements 
and literary fame." Dugald Stewart is one of our very 
best and most elegant writers of philosophical English. 
Philosophically, he had an excellently well-filled mind too, 
and seldom writes anything that is not interesting and 
valuable. Despite a little spoiling, moreover, from a vast 
success, social and otherwise, he kept, on the whole, as 
we see in his intercourse with Burns, his manhood by 
him. Nevertheless, when he prelects in that grandiose 
fashion on poor Johnson, he can only remind us of the 
great Mr. Buckle evolving his periods mouthwards like 
the ribands of a showman from the very drum-head of 
the Aufklarung. " They who know the value of a well- 
regulated and unclouded mind," that is the very jargon 
of the general position, and is not more Dugald Stewart's 
than it is Thomas Henry Buckle's and a hundred 
others', David Hume among them. " The weakness and 
wretchedness exhibited in the foregoing description" — 


that means the counting of his steps on the part of John- 
son ; and, looking at it so, we may fail to see the wretched- 
ness. It does not appear as though Samuel Johnson 
had, in the main, during life been a wretched man. But 
be it as it may with the wretchedness, perhaps we will 
allow the " weakness " ? Well, truly estimated and 
appreciated, what underlay and had initiated the habit 
was certainly a weakness, in the sense that it concerned 
a non-ens ; it is quite safe to say that, if Johnson had not 
counted, had not thought of his steps, but had done 
unconsciously precisely what he consciously did do, — it is 
quite safe to say that, in that way, no actual circum- 
stance of time and place varying, the events and issue of 
the day then and thereafter would have been identically 
the same as they were in fact experienced. But if there 
was weakness, there was also to some extent strength. 
Johnson made no attempt in any way at concealment ; 
he did not hide the habit ; he practised it in aperto. Of 
course, it may be very naturally suggested that Boswell 
was but a weak brother, and Johnson might have been 
careless of his opinion. But, then, in Stewart's very 
quotation from Boswell, the information is as of a matter 
within the common knowledge of " his friends." I don't 
know, therefore, that many of ourselves would have been 
as bold as Johnson ; we might, perhaps, have felt a 
greater amount of shame and timidity at the idea of 
exposing ourselves. And yet we may have our own 
superstitions not less, or not much less, than Johnson. 
In saying this, I simply go on the broad fact of our 
common humanity. Man, as man, from the first of 
days to the last, will always show the cross, the con- 
trarium, the contradiction, the Platonic duality, which 
forms the frame or groundwork of his nature. Man will 
never cease to humble himself in heart and soul before 
the mystic Divinity of this universe ; but he will always 


be found, nevertheless, sneaking towards a Mumbo- Jumbo 
that he is rather ashamed of. He will always have his 
luck and his unluck, with the signs and the means to see 
and foresee, to ward or forward accordingly. I suppose he 
will always count his sneezes, and wish them to end in 
an odd one ! Such things as amulets, charms, luck- 
articles of a thousand descriptions, will never die out. 
Tokens, foretokens, and fortune-telling, Biblical or Ver- 
gilian lots — instances of such things will in no time be 
lost amoiF us. We may depend upon it that our table- 
turnings, spirit-rappings, spectral apparitions, and what 
not, will not be without their successors even to the 
remotest ages. Superstition is the shadow of religion ; 
and they will seldom be found separate, — quite as though 
there were two authorities, two ruling powers, two 
dominions : one of the heavens, and another of the earth ; 
one of the light, and another of the dark ; one of our 
hopes, and another of our fears. And so, doubtless, it 
really is. Here, again, it is but the cross, the contrarium, 
the contradiction, that crops up to us. Once more, as 
has been said, we have to look for a rationale to the 
Platonic duality. Eeligion shall go with the ravrov, 
the identity ; and superstition with the Odrepov, the 
difference. Or we may apply in the same way the two 
genera of causes. He who realizes final causes, and the 
intellectual side, is necessarily religious ; while he who 
realizes physical causes, and the corporeal side, is neces- 
sarily superstitious. And as both causes go together, 
the same man, as in the case of Johnson, may be at once 
religious and superstitious ; rather, perhaps, it belongs 
to man, as man, to be at once both. Xow of physical 
causes the outcome is contingency. I know that the 
opposite of this is generally said. See the waves upon 
the shore, it is said ; there is not one of them that, in its 
birth and in its end, and in its entire course between, is 


not the result of necessity. That is true ; but it is also 
true that not one of these waves but is the result of 
infinite contingency. Every air that blows, every cloud 
that passes, every stray leaf, or branch, or feather of bird 
that falls, every contour of the land, every stone or rock 
in the sea-bottom, almost, we may say, every fish in the 
element itself, has its own effect ; and the various waves, 
in their form, and size, and velocity, are the conjoint 
result. That is necessity; but it is also contingency. 
That is, the serial causal influences cross each other, and 
from their own infinitude, as well as from the infinitude 
of space and time, in both of which they are, they are 
utterly incalculable and beyond every ken. That is con- 
tingency. There are infinite physical trains in movement. 
Each taken by itself might be calculable; but these 
trains cross each other in the infinitude of space and 
time endlessly ; and that is not calculable — the con- 
tingency of them, the tingency con, the touching or falling 
together of them. This touching together is something 
utterly unaccountable. The outcome to us in the finite 
world, — so to speak, in the terminal periphery, can only be 
that we are submitted to a ceaseless to and fro, to a bound- 
less miscellaneousness, an infinite pile-mile. But that 
being, it is with infinite astonishment that I have heard 
necessity thrown at philosophy, as though the belief of 
philosophy must necessarily be necessity. Plato's 
intellectual world, the world of the ideas in hypothetical 
evolution the one from the other, may be a realm of 
necessity ; but such necessity is already contingency the 
moment that this realm, the ideas themselves, have 
become externalized — got flung, that is, into otherness as 
otherness, externality as externality. And thus it is 
that, in philosophy, contingency is the category of the 
finite. Everycrossing in the infinite pile-mile may be plain 
to a spaewife, possibly; but it oilers no problem for any 


reason as reason. It is in this connection, too, that I 
have heard very competent people speak of the system of 
philosophy as, of necessity, a system of necessity, moral 
as well as metaphysical, and not of free will. That, to 
me, as before, gives again boundless astonishment. Why, 
it is only in a realm of contingency that there were any 
scope for free will; it is only against contingencies that 
free will has to assert itself ; it is only in their midst 
tli at free will can realize itself. 

And here we have come at last, perhaps, to the very 
an gle of the possible rationale of superstition. We have no 
power ourselves over contingency : it ramps, and frolics, 
and careers, in its blind way, independent of us. Of course, 
it is understood that I speak of things as they are open to 
the reason which is given us : to omniscience and omni- 
potence, there can be neither contingency nor necessity. 
But taking it just so as it is to mankind, here, it seems, 
there were a realm in which chance, and chance alone, ran 
riot. How, then, propitiate, conciliate, and, so to speak, 
win the soft side of chance ? It is only so that one can 
explain or excuse the existence of superstition in so power- 
fully intelligent, and so religiously devout a mind as that 
ot Samuel Johnson. And if we can so speak of the exist- 
ence of superstition in his mind, we may similarly speak 
of its existence in those of most others. There is no doubt 
that Johnson prayed most reverently and fervently — there 
is no doubt that he trusted himself wholly to God ; but 
yet, for all that, there seem to have been for him as well 
powers of contingency : he would render them favourable, 
too, and have even chance, luck on his side. The realm 
of the infinite, the realm of the ravr6v, the realm of the 
final causes, led him to God ; but he could not ignore and 
turn his back upon the realm of the finite, the realm of 
the Ocnepov and difference, the realm of the physical causes. 
I »! (nurse, this also is true : that it is just as the race or 

plato's wobk. 113 

the individual advances in knowledge and in wisdom that 
the latter world disappears more and more from our con- 
science; and the former world alone has place. Far back in 
time the race had superstition only, and not religion; bntas 

regards the individual, it is only some four hundred ye 
since a king of France, Louis XI., knelt to a leaden in) 
in his hatband on the mound, and invoked his "gentle 
mistress," his "only friend," his "good lady of Clery," to 
intercede with God Almighty for the pardon to him of his 
many murders, that of his own brother among them ! No 
man can call that religion. To a Louis XL heaven was 
peopled with contingencies, even as the earth was. To 
him final causes there were none ; caprice was all. Plato, 
in his perception of physical as but the material for final 
causes, was quite in another region than the most Christian 
king of France. In fact, Plato's whole world view was 
that of a single teleological system with the Good alone as 
its heart, with the will of God alone as its creator and 

Plato, then, in a way, but carries out and compl 
what Socrates began. Socrates was not content with right 
action only as action, he must see and know why it was 
right; action, as it were, he must convert into knowledge; 
that is, for man's action, as a whole, he must find general 
principles, and a general principle. NowaU that involved, 
first, a dialectic of search; second, the ideas and the . 
as a result; and third, the realization of the State as its 
practical application. But that is simply to name the 
work of Plato in its three moments. The State was his 
one practical result; the ideas and the idea the media of 
realization; and the dialectic the instrument of their 
discovery, limitation, and arrangement. The ideal system, 
then, was the centre of the Platonic industry. Sensible 
existences, the things of sense, have for Plato no real truth. 
All that we see and feel is in perpetual llux, a perpetual 



mutation. The ideas alone are the truth of things ; and 
things have truth only in so far as they participate in the 
ideas. For ideas are the paradeigmata of things, and things 
are but the sensible representations of these. What the 
ideas logically are, things ontologically are ; but the logical 
(dement is alone true ; while the ontological element, as 
representative, is but temporary show only. The only 
true ontological element, the ovtccs ov, is the Good. To 
the Good not only is the knowledge of things due, but it 
is the Good also that gives them being. It is for it, and 
because of it, and through it that all things are. It alone 
is the principle, and the ratio essendi, and the foundation 
of philosophy itself. Man, being in his constitution double, 
the truth of his senses is alone thought. The end-aim 
of everything, and the end-aim of the entire system of 
everything is thought. That alone is good, and the Good 
alone is God. And God is the creator of the universe. 
The Good, design is so absolutely the principle of all things 
for Plato, that whatever exists, exists just because it is 
better that it should be than not be. Design, the one 
principle of design, is the vovs itself : "tyvyfj aiTtov airdvrwv, 
the soul is the cause of all things, and that amounts to 
this, that all things are first of all in the soul, only not 
externalized. I hope we have some conception of where 
Plato is historically as regards the proofs required by 
Natural Theology. 


Sophists- A.ufklarung— Disbelief, Simon of Tournay, Amalrich of 
Bena, David of Dinanl Italian philosophers, « reneva Socinians, 
Bacon,, the Deists, Locke, Descartes, Spinoza— Hume, 
Gibbon — Germany, Reimarus, etc Klopstock, Lavater — Leas- 
ing, Eamann, Eerder, Jacobi — Goethe, Schiller, Jean Paul — 
Carlyle — Prance — Kant and his — Necessary end of 

Buch movements— < alargumenl -Locke, Clarke, Leib- 

nitz— AristotL — Dependency — Potentiality and actuality — A 
beginning — Aristotle and design— Mr. Darwin's mistake— Em- 
pedocles and the survival of the fittest 

ONE can hardly leave Plato without saying a word about 
the Sophists: it is his handling of some of the most con- 
spicuous Sophists, indeed, that constitutes the special charm 
of several of his very best dialogues. Amongst the 
individual Sophists, there are, of course, many character- 
istic differences; still, when looked at from a certain 
historical distance, they, so to speak, appear to run into 
each other, as though but units in a single movement. 
One general spirit we assume to unite them all, one 
common atmosphere to breathe around them. In brief, 
they all step forward as the apostles of the new ; and this 
distinction they all arrogate in one and the same way, by 
pointing the finger at the old. Suppose the old to be a 
clothed figure, then one Sophist has the credit of stripping 
oil' its gown, another its tunic, a third it- I ad so 

on. So it is that the whole movement is shut up in a single 
word now-a-days, the word Aujklarung. In the G 
Sophists we have before us the Greek Aufklarung. Auf- 
klaruug is Klarung Auf, a clearing up. It means that. 


as it were, day had dawned, that light had come, that 
people at last had got their eyes opened to the absurdity 
of the lies they had hitherto believed in. It was as though 
they had suddenly turned round upon themselves, and 
found, strangely, all at once, everything in the clearness 
of a new revelation. They were all wrong, it seemed : 
they had been dreadfully stupid. Hitherto they had lived 
only, and never thought ; but now they both saw and 
thought. This was not true, and that was not true. 
There was absurdity there, and there was absurdity here. 
And it was only they were right — only they, the Sophists 
themselves. They saw how it was with all things, and they 
could speak of all things. They saw just so well, indeed, 
and had so much power in the seeing, that, on the whole, 
they could speak of all things pretty well as they pleased. 
That is very briefly, but not unjustly, to name the 
Sophists as we see them in Plato. If we but take up 
into our minds the general characteristics of this move- 
ment, then, the movement on the part of these Sophists 
— if we but take it up into our minds and name it 
Aufkliirung, we shall have some idea of what an 
Aufkliirung means. It was not the Sophists, however, 
that suggested the word. This, the suggestion, was due, 
not to an ancient, but to a modern movement — a move- 
ment that was, on the whole, more peculiarly French, but 
still a movement in which England, Germany, Holland, 
and all the other nations of Europe more or less partici- 
pated. It was preceded here, in Europe, I mean, by a 
want. This want was the product of suffering, on the 
one hand, and of the ordinary human curiosity, or the 
desire of gain, on the other. Political tyranny and 
religious corruption had become, on the part of the 
arbitrators, whether of the State or the Church we may 
not too incorrectly say, universal. Men grew scandalized, 
indignant ; yearned for delivery from the wrong ; and 


revolted against both — both Church and State. Mean- 
time, too, discoveries in the pursuit of curiosity or gain 
had been going on. There were discoveries by sea, and 
there were inventions in the arts. America was dis- 
covered, and gunpowder — gunpowder and printing were 
invented. Greek fugitives had fled into Italy ; Protest- 
antism arose. There was but one general result ; there 
was but one desire awakened — the desire to know. 
And it was the desire to know, conjoined with the 
political and ecclesiastical wrong, that gave rise to the 
modern Aufklarung. What concerns religion is, un- 
doubtedly, the most notable phase of the Aufklarung, 
but it is not the only one. The Aufklarung was a 
movement of the whole of humanity, and extended into 
humanity's veriest roots, political, social, educational, and 
all other. So far as books are concerned, perhaps it is 
the religious element that shows most. There are not 
wanting many heretical opinions during the whole 
history of the Church, some of which were as extreme 
in their quality as even those of a Hume, or a Voltaire 
himself. As early as about 1200, there was Simon of 
Tournay, with his book, dc Tribus Impostoribus, and, 
somewhat later, the followers of Amalrich of Bena, and 
David of Dinant. Considerably later than these still 
there were the Italian Philosophers of the Transition 
Period, and the Socinians of Geneva, who, with their 
questions, harrowed the very soul of Calvin. Bacon, 
Hobbes, and the English Deists may or may not be 
reckoned to the movement of the Aufklarung; in strict 
accuracy, perhaps, they were better named its fore- 
runners ; among whom even John Locke is sometimes 
included, and, if John Locke, then surely also Rene* 
Descartes. For myself it always appears to me that the 
Tradatus Thcologico - Politicus of Spinoza, published 
perhaps about 1G60, may be very fairly accounted 


the beginning itself of the Aufklarung. That work is 
very much the quarry from which Voltaire drew — very 
much a source of direction and supply also to the Critics 
of Germany. In Great Britain we may instance as 
undoubted members of the Aufklarung such men as 
David Hume and Edward Gibbon, but only at the head 
of a cryptic mass. In Germany the movement, as in 
writers like Nicolai, Mendelssohn, Baumgarten, Sender, 
Eeimarus, and even scores of others, was much milder 
than elsewhere, if also considerably thinner. In 
Germany, too, there was speedily a reaction against it, as 
exemplified in the pious spirit which reigns in the works 
of its Klopstocks and Lavaters. But what writers put 
an end to the movement, if not generally, at least in 
their own country, were Lessing, Herder, Hamann, and 
Jacobi — four men distinguished (of course, variously 
among themselves) almost by an inspiration, we may 
say, not less religious than it was philosophical, and not 
less philosophical than it was religious. There is not 
one of the four but excellently exemplifies this. Lessing 
is not an enormous genius — he knows himself that he is 
not a poet, but only a critic. For all that, however, to 
get the German spirit that is peculiar even yet, he is, 
perhaps, just the very best German writer whom it is 
possible to choose. As the truth for him was ever the 
middle between two extremes, so he himself stands there 
a figure in the middle for ever. Clearness, fairness, 
equity constitute his quality. Living in the time of the 
Aufklarung, he, too, would have Aufklarung ; but the 
Aufklarung he would have should not be for his eyes 
only, he would have it for his soul as well. It was his 
heart that would have light — feeling — not mere per- 
ception. He was not a man that trusted, like so many 
other literary men of the day, to himself and his own 
inspiration. He was a thoroughly educated man, trained 


in mathematics as well as in philology; and he had read 
deeply. Even of archaeology, even of Church history, 
he surprises by his knowledge. Christianity is to him, 
for all his enlightenment, the religion of our maturer 
humanity ; and he vindicates for reason and by reason, the 
very strictest dogmas of the Creed. To him the unity of 
Cml and the immortality of the soul are truths demon- 
strable. Yet he prefers the religion of the heart to the 
religion of the head. He defends the tradition of the 
Church ; and yet he opposes the Christian of feeling to 
the dogmatist of belief, even as he opposes the spirit to 
the letter. He clings to the rule of faith — the regida 
fidei ; but lie would as little sacrifice reason to faith, as 
he would sacrifice faith to reason. Still his place in 
theology is only, as he says, that of him who sweeps the 
dust from the steps of the temple; and his religion 
proper is rightly to be named, perhaps, only the religion 
of humanity. 

This that I have said of Lessing will dispense me from 
any similar details as regards the other three. Hamann, 
with whom I have no great sympathy, is a very peculiar 
personality, and has left behind him certain pithily far- 
fetched and peculiar sayings quite currently quoted, while 
both Herder and Jacobi are eminently noble men, as well 
as great writers. The specialty that I would attribute to 
alffour of them is, that they correct and complete the 
Aufklarung by placing side by side with the half on 
which alone it will look, the failing half on which it has 
turned its back, and have, in this way, done good work 
towards the reconstitution and re-establishment of the 
central catholic and essential truth. Nor has it proved 
otherwise with German literature in general, and its 
coryphei in particular. The example of Lessing and the 
others has proved determinative also for such men as 
Goethe, and Schiller, and -lean 1'aul. Neither on their 


part is there any mockery or disregard of religion as 
religion. On the contrary, it is approached with sincere 
feelings l>y all of them, who know it to be, and never 
doubt of its being, an essential element in the very 
construction of man. It is this that is meant when we 
hear of Thomas Carlyle being directed, at one time of his 
life, to German literature as likely to supply him with 
what he wanted, at once in a philosophical and a religious 
reference. It is this also that he actually did find there. 
Nothing else than this made Goethe to Carlyle a prophet. 
Speculating on this relation between two men, in many 
respects so unlike each other, I had, in my own mind, 
referred the source of it to that part of Wilhelm Meisters 
Travels, where one of the Heads of an educational insti- 
tute, conducting Wilhelm from hall to hall, prelects 
equably on the various religions. To read this was a 
new experience to Carlyle. As his early letters tell us, 
the perusal of Gibbon had won him over to the side of 
heresy ; and any further progression in the same direc- 
tion could only exhibit to him Christianity — in Hume, 
Voltaire, and the Encyclopedists, say — as an object, not 
of derision merely, but even of the fiercest hatred and 
the most virulent abuse. This, then, as on the part of 
these Germans, was a novel experience to Carlyle, — the 
dispassionate, open - eyed, significant wisdom of such 
tolerant and temperate discourse even in respect of the 
Christian religion ; and it was as with the light and the 
joy of a new revelation that he returned, at least to all 
the feeling, and the reverence, anal the awe, that had been 
his in his boyhood under the eye of his father. And so it 
was that the first aim of Carlyle, as in the Sartor 
Rcsartus, was the re-establishment, in every earnest, 
educated, but doubting soul, of the vital reality of true 
religion. In that work, to such souls, wandering in the 
dark, the light of Carlyle suddenly strook through the 



black of night as with the coming of a celestial messenger. 
" It is the night of the world," they heard, " and still long 
till it be day: we wander amid the glimmer of Bmoking 
ruins, and tin: sun and the stars of heaven are as blotted 
out for a Beason; and two immeasurable phantoms, 
Hypocrisy and Atheism, with the ghoul, Sensuality, Btalk 
abroad over the earth, and call it theirs: well at ease are 
tin- sleepers for whom existence is a shallow dream. 
But what of the awestruck wakeful?" Ami thence- 
forward after this book of Carlyle's it was in the power 
of any one who at least would awake, to lay himself 
down in the very heart of that awful " Natural Super- 
naturalism," to see, to wonder, and to worship ; while 
those mysterious "organic filaments" span themselves 
anew, not in vain for him. That was the first mood of 
Carlyle ; and it was his highest. He never returned to it. 
His Hero- Worship contains, perhaps, what feels m 
to it ; and it is significant that Carlyle himself made a 
common volume of the two works. But history and 
biography occupy him thenceforth; and in these, un- 
fortunately, so much of the early Gibbonian influence, to 
call it so, crops out, that Carlyle, on the whole, despite 
his natural, traditional, and philosophical piety, passes 
through life for a doubter merely, and is claimed and 
beset by the very men whose vein of shallow but exultant 
Aufklarung is precisely the object of his sincerest repro- 
bation and uttermost disgust. There is a good deal to 
confirm as much as this, in his Address as lev tor here of 
this University, especially in his reference to "ten pages, 
which he would rather have written than all the books 
that have appeared sinee he came into the world." These 
ten pages contain what I have referred to in connection 
with Goethe's WiUielm Meister ; and I was well content 
to hear from Carlyle's lips on that occasion that 1 had 
not speculated badly as to the source of his veneration 


for a man who, if a prophet to him, might prove, on a 
closer inspection, perhaps, for all his dispassionate words 
on religion, somewhat of the earth earthy to us. 

All this will, pretty well, have made plain to us what 
the Aufklarung is. Men, as I have said, instead of 
simply living blindly straight on, suddenly opened their 
eyes and turned round to look. What they saw was 
only the old, and it was not all good — as how could it be 1 
They revolted against it; they would not believe a word 
they had been told; they would see for themselves. 
Now, naturally what they saw for themselves, what 
alone they could see for themselves, lay without. What 
was within was what they had been told, and they would 
not have it. The result was that the concrete man was 
separated into abstract sides ; abstract by this, that they 
were each apart, and not together, as they should be, in 
a vital one. What a man saw and felt, experience, was 
to be the only truth. All was to be learned and won 
from the examination of the objects of the external 
senses. And so, while the outer nourished, the inner 
perished. The inner was only superstition, prejudice, 
unenlightened prejudice, and had to be thrown away. 
But the very best of humanity could not escape from 
being included in the cast. Religion apart, no one, for 
example, can read the French writings of the period 
without disgust at the flippant manner in which the best 
principles of morality are held up for derision and a 
sneer — even the principles of the family, say, which 
are the very foundation of the State and of our social 
community within it. 

Now it was to this movement, certainly to the untrue 
and shallow extreme of it, that the German writers 
named put an end. And so it is that the philosophical 
successors of Kant, all to a man, speak of the Auf- 
klarung as a thing of the past, as a thing that had 


been examined, seen into, and shelved — shelved as 
already effete, antiquated, out of date, and done with. 
This, however, can only be -aid on the level of true 
philosophy. It cannot be said at all generally for the 
mass; the mass at present rather can largely be 
contentedly at feed on the husks and Btubble of the 
Aufklarung, gabbling and cackling sufficiently. 

But, in regard to Greece, when we consider that the 
principle of the Sophists was subjectivity pure and 
simple, that is, that truth as truth is only whatever 
one feels, or perceives, or thinks, and only in his own 
regard for the very moment that he so feels or so 
perceives or so thinks, — when we consider this, and that 
the result was only opposition to whatever had been 
established in law, or morality, or religion, «>r - 
life, we must see that the Greek Sophists very fairly 
represented what is called an Aufklarung. 

It is not unimportant withal for us to note that this 
movement, despite these three greatest and best men and 
philosophers, — Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, who, in 
absolute correction and refutation of it, followed it, — 
that this movement, despite all, destroyed Greece. 
Noting this, there may here, I am inclined to say, be 
a lesson for its. What, if all this enlightenment, all this 
liberation from prejudice, all this stripping bare of every- 
thing in heaven and earth, should, despite our telegraphs 
and telephones, end in the compulsory retreat of the 
whole of us — men and women of us, after war upon war, 
and internecine strife, and confusion limitless — into our 
original woods again! If we will but consider of it, 
with all that we are taught now to believe ^( this uni- 
verse, such a consummation cannot be held to be any 
longer a matter of mere dream. The subject, however, 
is inexhaustible; illustrations there are to hand endlessly 
— in the east, and the west, and the north, and the 


south, and without one exception of a single human 

I must return to our theme— the proofs for the Being 
of a ( rod. In view of what was currently held in regard 
to Socrates and the argument from design, I had passed 
over the claim to priority made by some for the cos- 
mologiea! argument, stating that it had been usually 
assigned to Aristotle. It is in place now to turn to 
that argument, seeing that, in our historical survey, it is 
Aristotle that we have reached. And here I only fear 
that what presses on us must enforce undue brevity. 

A form of the cosmological argument occurs in Locke 
to this effect : " If we know there is some real being, 
and that nonentity cannot produce any real being, it is 
evident demonstration that from eternity there has heen 
something, since what was not from eternity had a 
beginning, and what had a beginning must be produced 
by something else." That is pretty well the argument of 
Dr. Samuel Clarke, too. Something is, therefore some- 
thing has always been, and so on. The proper angle 
of the cosmological argument, however, is dependence. 
What we see around us are evident effects ; the whole 
world is but a single scene of change ; phenomena 
follow phenomena. Accordingly, a German writer says : 
" The teleological view takes not, like the cosmological, 
its point of departure from the vanity (Eitelkeit), but 
from the grandeur (Herrlichkcit) of the world." But 
that is too much. Dependence is not exactly vanity ; 
and what is called vanity (Eitelkeit) in the one argument 
is really identically the same thing as is called grandeur 
(Herrlichkeit) in the other argument. The grandeur is 
not vain, though it is dependent. The gardens, pictures, 
and statuary with which a rich man surrounds himself 
are dependent, but they are not vain ; they are a beauty. 
The phenomena of the world are dependent — dependent 


on noumena and a noumenon, and that, od the whole, 
constitutes the cosmological argument This argument 
is often called Leibnitz 1 argument ; but if we call 
Socrates the originator and founder of the teleological 
argument, it is Aristotle who is named as the originator 
and founder of the cosmological argument And with 
him this argumenl turns on motion. Whatever is in 
motion has had a mover; but we cannot go back from 
motion to motion, and from mover to mover, endlessly ; 
there must be a final stop at last where motion and 
mover are one; where what is, is a self-mover, which 
self-mover evidently also by mere position is infinite and 
eternal. Motion, mover, that is caii&a sui, cause of 
itself, that is Clod. The aim of philosophy, says Aris- 
totle, is to know the truth; but to know the truth of 
anything, we must know its cause. Then truth in the 
cause must be eminently what is found in its effects, as 
fire, being cause of warmth in everything that is near 
and nearer to it, must itself have most warmth. The 
first cause, being from nothing else, and always equal t>> 
what it is, must in its being be the cause of the h ing of 
everything else. And that there is a first cause as 
ultimate principle is evident from this, that there can lie 
no infinite series of causes, whether in a straight line or 
in natural kind. 

" God," says Leibnitz, " is the first cause of things : for 
all finite things, as all that we see and know, are con- 
1 indent, and have in themselves nothing that makes 
their existence necessary, inasmuch as plainly time, 
space, and matter, each continuously identical with 
itself and indifferent to all else, might assume quite 
Other movements and forms and another order. We 
must, therefore, look for the cause of the existen* i I 
this world, which is a collection of things merely con- 
tingent, only in such Bubstance as has the cause of its 


existence in its own self, and is therefore eternal and 
necessary." The angle of this reasoning, whether in the 
one form or the other, is, as I have said, dependence. The 
contingency of all things which come within our ken in 
this universe is assumed as of such character that, alone 
and by itself, it implies a necessary first cause. What 
is contingent is, as contingent, not something ^//-supported, 
,sr//-subsistent, but presupposes something else that is 
such, or that is in its own self necessary. But now the 
world is contingent, for the world is an aggregate of 
things, all of which are contingent in themselves. There- 
fore the world presupposes and implies an absolutely 
necessary being as its substantiating ground or cause. 

Not only is this being an absolutely necessary being, 
but, according to Aristotle, and still cosmologically reason- 
ing, he is an absolutely actual being. And of this reason- 
ing the angle is that what is potential only presupposes 
a preceding actuality ; for to be potential only is to be 
such as may quite as well not be as be. In Aristotelian 
terms, the irpwTov klvovv, what first gives movement to 
this world, must in itself also be absolute functioning actu- 
ality, absolute ivepyeia ; for were it only potential, only 
Suva/jus, there were no reason, so far as it was only that, 
that it should become actual. What is potential, what 
is potential only, there is no reason, in such quality, for 
any step further. There is, then, an actual God. To 
Aristotle, in fact, there is no beginning. And, for that 
matter, I know not to what style of thinker there can be 
a beginning — in the sense, that is, of an absolute begin- 
ning, of an absolute first. No theist can assign a first 
to Deity ; and no atheist can assign a first to the system 
of things in time. But where there is no beginning, 
there can only be eternity ; and that really seems the 
thought of Aristotle. What is, is not, as it were, a 
straight line to Aristotle, a virtue, a power, that goes 


ever out and out, and on and on. Rather, what is, is 
to him a virtue that returns into itself, a power that 
returns into itself — so to speak, an eternally circling 
circle. That is eternity ; such circle, that ever is, and 
never was not, and never will not be. Eternity is the 
self-determining organism that operates, acts, moves out 
of itself into itself ; life that feeds itself, lives into itself ; 
thought that ever thinks, thinks itself into itself. 

I omit much here on the cosmological argument, to 
proceed to what is plainer. Aristotle, it is to be said, is 
not to he supposed as only limited to the one argument, 
the cosmological. On the contrary, it may be almost 
held that, let it be as it may with Socrates and Plato, 
Aristotle has made the teleological argument expressly 
and at full his own. In point of fact, design is the 
central thought of Aristotle in his whole philosophy 
everywhere. As adaptation of means to ends, it is per- 
haps seen at its liveliest in the little work of the Parts 
of Animals. The general teaching here is the same as 
we saw in Plato, — that the element of necessity, physical 
necessity, concerns alone the external conditions, the 
materials; while it is the final cause that alone gives 
meaning to them — alone makes a reality of them — a 
doctrine — (that the mechanism everywhere existent in 
the world is at the same time everywhere existent in 
the world only as the realizing means of final causes) — 
a doctrine which, after long struggles, was the final con- 
viction of Leibnitz. Perhaps for a distinct, clear, com- 
prehensive statement in both references, that is at the 
same time brief and succinct, there is no more remark- 
able chapter in the whole of Aristotle than the eighth of 
the second book of the Physics. All, indeed, is so em- 
phatically plain in that chapter that one can hardly 
believe in the possibility of any mistake in its regard. 
It seems, however, from the very first note, almost on 


the very first page, of the Origin of Species, that Mr. 
Darwin has allowed himself to be misled into a literal 
inversion of Aristotle's relative meaning. In this note, 
Mr. Darwin speaks thus : " Aristotle, in his Physicae 
Auscultationes (lib. 2, cap. 8, s. 2), after remarking 
that rain does not fall in order to make the corn grow, 
any more than it falls to spoil the farmer's corn when 
threshed out of doors, applies the same argument to 
organization ; and adds (as translated by Mr. Clair Grece, 
who first pointed out the passage to me), ' So what 
hinders the different parts [of the body] from having 
this merely accidental relation in nature ? as the teeth, 
for example, grow by necessity, the front ones sharp, 
adapted for dividing, and the grinders flat, and service- 
able for masticating the food ; since they were not made 
for the sake of this, but it was the result of accident. 
And in like manner as to the other parts in which there 
appears to exist an adaptation to an end. Wheresoever, 
therefore, all things together (that is, all the parts of one 
whole) happened like as if they were made for the sake 
of something, these were preserved, having been appro- 
priately constituted by an internal spontaneity; and 
whatsoever things were not thus constituted perished, 
and still perish.' We here see," says Mr. Darwin on 
this, " the principle of natural selection shadowed forth, 
but how little Aristotle fully comprehended the principle, 
is shown by his remarks on the formation of the teeth." 
This note of Mr. Darwin's is not without value in a 
reference to his own views. At present, however, I have 
not to do with that, but only with what interpretation is 
given to certain declarations of Aristotle in regard to 
design. And in this reference it will suffice to point out 
the literal inversion of meaning of which I speak. As is 
well known, Aristotle is not always easy to translate, nor 
is his meaning always a clear one. I have no hesitation, 


however, in saying that, in both references, the particular 
chapter in question may be quite fairly regarded as an 
exception. It is at once easy to translate, and clear in 
its meaning. I cannot afford time to it as a whole now; 
but I will translate as much of it as is indispensable for 
our purpose at present. The first words concern the two 
elements, now familiar to us, which both Plato and 
Aristotle describe as accompanying each other, and as 
necessary to each other. 

" We have first to tell," says Aristotle here, " how 
nature exhibits causality on design, and then to speak of 
the necessary material." In the first reference, for 
example, he asks, " What hinders nature from acting 
without design, but just as Jove rains — not, namely, that 
the corn may grow, but from necessity (the condensed 
vapour, namely, falling back in rain on the earth, and the 
corn growing as only concurrently receiving the rain) ? In 
the same way, if rain spoils corn on the threshing-floor, 
it does not rain precisely for this end, that it may spoil 
the corn : that is only a coexistent incident." Aristotle 
has thus put the two cases, and he will now bring the 
truth home by asking how it is that, in regard to living 
organization, we cannot accept necessity, but must demand 
design. That is really the single import of the whole of 
Mr. Darwin's quotation, as a little further translation will 
at once show. " What then;' Aristotle continues, " pre- 
vents it from being just so witli the parts in nature ? 
What prevents the teeth, for example, from being just 
necessarily constituted so that the front ones would be 
sharp for cutting, and the back ones broad for grinding 
the food ; which would be, not to be from design, but 
just to so happen?" What I translate by this last clause, 
" which would be, not to be from design, but just to so 
happen," appears in Mr. Darwin's translation, "since they 
were not made for the sake of this, but it was the result <>;' 



accident." That is a categorical assertion as on Aristotle's 
part of the very opposite of what Aristotle has it in 
mind to say. The Greek, however (eVel ov tovtov evetca 
yeveadai, dXKa av/jbireaetv), involves no such categorical 
assertion of an independent fact, but is only an explana- 
tory clause to apply what precedes. So far the whole 
mind of Aristotle is : Why should we not say that the 
relative position of the two kinds of teeth, incisors and 
grinders, is not an affair of necessity ; so that it would 
not take place from design, but only so happen ? Even 
in putting this question the opinion of Empedocles 
suggests itself, and Aristotle continues illustratively to 
ask, Why should it not be as Empedocles held it 
to be ? Why should it not be that, in the becoming 
of things, all such things as, though originating spon- 
taneously, were still found fittingly constituted and, 
so to speak, undesignedly designful, — why should it 
not be that these should be preserved, while those that 
were not so should have perished, and should go on 
perishing, as is said by Empedocles of his fiowyevr} 
avSpoirpaypa, his cattle with the faces of men ? Now to 
this question Aristotle's direct answer is, It is impossible 
that anything such should be — dSvvaTov Be tovtov e%etv 
tov Tpoirov. And why is it impossible that anything 
such should be ? Why is it dhvvaTov that tovtov Tpoirov 
€%eiv ? " Because these and all the things of nature 
originate, as they do originate, either invariably or all 
but invariably, but of the things of accident and chance 
not one." That answer is decisive ; but the bulk of this 
single chapter has still to come with expression upon 
expression that is confirmatory merely. Referring im- 
mediately here, for example, to certain natural processes, 
his emphatic deduction is, eaTtv apa to eve/cd tov iv toU 
<f)vcrec yt,vofjbivoi<; koi ovaiv (there is therefore design in 
the things that happen and are in nature). " Moreover," 

SOL dauwin's mistake. 131 

he says, " in what things there is something as an end, 
for that end is realized as well what precedes as what 
follows ; as is the action, so is the nature, and as is the 
nature, so is the action, in each case if nothing obstruct ; 
and as the action is for the sake of the end, so also fur 
the same sake is the nature." Aristotle brings in now 
illustrations from the intentional works of mankind with 
the inference that if such works are eveicd tov, are from 
design, it is evident that so also are the works of 
nature; for both kinds of works are similarly situated 
as concerns consequents and antecedents in a mutual 
regard. As illustrations from nature we have now, in 
animals, the swallow with its nest, and the spider with 
its web ; and in plants (for even in plants Aristotle sees 
such adaptations), the covering of the fruit by the leaves, 
and the course downwards, not upwards, of the roots for 
food. Consequently, says Aristotle, " it is manifest that 
there is such a cause in the processes and facts of nature ; 
and since nature has two principles, one that is as matter 
and another that is as form, the latter the end, and the 
former for the sake of the end, this, the end, must be the 
determining cause." It may be, Aristotle continues, 
that nature does not always effect its end; but neither 
do we always effect our ends. The grammarian docs nol 
always spell correctly; nor the doctor always succeed 
in his potions. And if ever there were those man-faced 
cattle, it was from some failure of the principle, as may 
happen now from some failure of the seed. That, then. 
nature is a cause, and a cause acting on design — " that," 
says Aristotle, and it is his last word, "is manifest — 
<j)avepov." In short, from its first word to its last, this 
chapter of Aristotle's has not, and never for a moment 
has, any aim, any object, any intention, but to demon- 
strate design in nature and in the works of nature. The 
next chapter, indeed, only continues the same theme, 


but with more special attention to the necessity of 
material conditions in which design may realize itself. 
How Mr. Darwin should have ever fancied that Aristotle 
first established necessity as the principle of nature in 
its action, and then applied that same principle to 
organization, it is impossible to conceive. Aristotle does 
ask, Why should we not think of necessity in the 
arrangement of the teeth ? but it is only that he may 
bring home to our minds the palpable absurdity of the 
very question. He directly says in the de Partibus 
(iii. 1 ), " Man has teeth admirably constructed for the 
use that, in their respect, is common to all animals, 
the mastication of the food, namely : the front ones 
sharp to cut, and the back ones blunt to grind." We 
saw, too, exactly the same reference on the part of 
Socrates. Indeed, it is difficult to think of any more 
striking instance of design on the part of nature, or of 
one in which there could possibly appear less room for 
the action of mere material necessity. Why, if material 
necessity were alone to act, we might have our molars to 
the front, and how would it then be with our comfort at 
our meals, or in speech, or in our mere looks ? To find 
Aristotle suggesting the possibility of a material cause 
for the arrangement of the teeth, is to find Pythagoras 
arguing against numbers, Plato against ideas, or Newton 
against gravitation. But, assuming that, though Aristotle 
had, in the translated passage, " shadowed forth the 
principle of natural selection," yet he had also shown, 
as Mr. Darwin adds, " by his remarks on the formation 
of the teeth," " how little he fully comprehended the 
principle " — assuming this, I say, we may resolve the 
statement, as on Mr. Darwin's part, into a compliment 
to Aristotle, on the one hand, and into a reproach on 
the other. The compliment is, that Aristotle was wise 
enough to see that what was called design was still due 


to physical necessity. And the reproach, again, is 
against this, that Aristotle should have applied the 
necessity just so, quite unmodified, to the formation of 

the teeth. Now, it must be admitted that, if the com- 
pliment hail been correct, the reproach would have been 
correct also. Mr. Darwin Bmiles to himself in superiority 
over Aristotle, because he (Aristotle) had missed his own 
(Mr. Darwin's own) little invention, whereby, even on 
physical necessity, the order of the teeth, designful as it 
may appear, is and must be precisely as we see it. Ju 
to that extent must be done Mr. Darwin even here. In 
Mr. Darwin's scheme there is really supposed a provision 
for the purpose. Mr. Darwin would have Laughed al 
you, had you objected to him, "Then, in your way of it, 
the molar teeth might be where the incisors are!" Mr. 
Darwin would have felt armed against that ! 

But then, the absurdity of imputing at all to Aristotle 
the suggestion that organization was due, or might be 
due, to physical necessity, no peculiarity of Mr. (a-ece's 
translation, not even the questionable clause particularized. 
will excuse or condone that. Mr. Darwin tells us himself, 
he had Dr. Ogle's translation of the d Partibus, in which 
a note gives the correct version of the entire p 
rendered by Mr. Grece. That note occurs on the very 
second page of Dr. Ogle's book, and must have been seen 
by Mr. Darwin. Nay, that very book, the de Partibus, 
and as admirably translated by Dr. Ogle — that very 
book, just one argument, from end to end, for design, 
Mr. Darwin has read with so much consequenl admira- 
tion of Aristotle, that he lauds him in excelsis and sets 
him above the two supreme gods he had previously 
worshipped — Linnaeus and Cuvier! " Linnaeus and Cuvier 
have been my two gods," he Bays, "hut they were mere 
schoolboys to old Aristotle." 

I will conclude now by pointing out how it has been 


the lot of Empedocles, as early as 444 years before Christ, 
to anticipate all, every, and any theory that is built on 
the survival of the fittest. What Empedocles says is in 
substance this : Nature brought forth and gave existence 
to every possible animal form ; but all such as were 
incoherently and inconsistently constructed, perished — 
and the same process continues. That, surely, is to give 
directest, precisest, and palpablest expression to this, 
Only the fittest survive ! Aristotle slyly remarks here, 
Then I suppose it was the same with plants : if there 
were calves of the cow with the countenances of men, 
there were, doubtless, also scions of the vine with the 
face of the olive ! 


Aristotle and design— Matter and form— Abstraction— Trinity— The 
ascent— Tin- four causes— A first mover — Lambda of the Meta- 
physic — The hymn of Aristotle Speculation — Mankind — 
Erdmann — Theory and practice Nature — Kant, Byron, Mme. 
Genlis — Aristotle's ethic and politic— God — Cicero— Time — 
Design— Hume, Buffon— Plato and Aristotle— Immanent Div- 
inity and transcendent Deity — Schwegler — Bonitz — The soul — 
Unity — Homer — The Greek moveiin-nt up t<> Aristotle, Biese 
The Germans and Aristotle— Cuvier, Owen, Franzius, Johann 
von Muller— Darwin— Aristotle in conclusion. 

In the conclusion of the last lecture we saw that 
Aristotle, in a chapter in which he was supposed to 
have shadowed out the modern doctrine of natural selec- 
tion, had nothing in view but the impossibility of 
mechanical principles ever explaining the phenomena 
which seem to bear on their front the relation that is 
named of final causes. And, in fact, to say it again, the 
whole philosophy of Aristotle is founded on, and rises oul 
of, the single principle of an object, a purpose, an end that 
is good, an end that is beneficial, an end that is advan- 
tageous. Design animates the whole, but the very breath 
of this design, the heart that beats in it, the soul thai 
guides it, is the Good — service that is wise. Nature is 
but a single organic congeries — as it were, a crystallization 
into externality of internality. There is matter ; but 
there is no separate individual entity so named, — cogniz- 
able as so named, existent as so named. Conceived as 
such separate existence, matter is only an abstraction. 
Objects have matter, but they have also form; and the 


two elements, the two sides are indissolubly together, 
though we may logically see them apart, and name them 
apart. That is, we may fix our mind on the material 
side of some formed object, and, speaking of that side 
abstractedly, we may name it apart ; but it does not 
exist apart. Conceived apart it is but an abstraction. 
There is no such thing as matter qua matter, any more 
than there is such a thing as book qua book, or paper 
qua paper : there is always only such and such a book, 
such and such particular paper. But the other side, 
already present and immanent in the material side, as it 
were fused into, integrated and identified with it, is 
form. An impression in wax, so far, illustrates the idea. 
There is the wax, and there is the impress : they can be 
conceived apart, and spoken of apart ; but they are prac- 
tically one. You cannot take the impress into your hand, 
and leave the wax ; and neither can you take the wax 
into your hand without the impress. Only, in the case 
of any Aristotelian crvvoXov, of any Aristotelian co-integer 
of form and matter, the one side, without the other, 
absolutely disappears. Destroy the impress and the wax 
remains ; but destroy form, and with its extinction, there 
is to Aristotle the extinction of matter as well. The 
form can exist only in matter ; the matter can exist only 
in form. Either of the two sides, as separated and by 
itself, is abstract, an abstraction ; but in the concrete of 
their coalescence, there is, as it were, a life between them. 
Even as together, there is always to be conceived a nisus, 
an effort of matter towards form, a hunger of matter for 
form ; and there is no less on the part of form, such nisus, 
or such hunger for realization, substantiation in matter. 
This is much the same thing as to say : What is, is 
potentiality that realizes itself into actuality. We may 
remember now that reference in Plato to a somewhat 
trinitarian suggestion, where the receiving element was 

TRINITY. 13 "7 

compared to the mother, the formative element to the 
father, and the formed element between them to the 
eicyovo*;, the offspring, the son. And we may similarly- 
present here the avvokov, the co-integer, of Aristotle, and 
the life at work, as it were, within, even in its elements. 
There is the matter vXrj, the form eiSo-? or popcpr}, and the 
avvoXov itself, all three respectively in a sort of relation 
of mother, father, and son. It is but the same idea, the 
same life, too, that we see in the further forms of potenti- 
ality, energy, and actuality. There is an ivepyeia, energy, 
comparable to the father, that leads Svvdfiis, potentiality, 
comparable to the mother, into ivreXex €ia > actuality, 
comparable to the sou. This son, too, evidently combines 
the virtue of both father and mother. The eVxcXe^eta 
has its own ivepyeia in its own Swa/u?. It has its own 
end, TeXo?, within itself ; it is an end unto itself, — a life 
that lives into itself, that realizes itself. And there is 
realization above realization. There is a rise from object 
to object. The plant is above the stone, and the animal 
above the plant. But man is the most perfect result. 
His supremacy is assured. He alone of all living 
creatures is erect ; and he is erect by reason of the 
divinity within him, whose office it is to know, to think, 
and to consider. All other animals are but incomplete, 
imperfect, dwarf, beside man. 

Potentiality is realized into form, then, but to effect 
this, movement is necessary. The realization is move- 
ment ; and the principle of movement is the efficient 
cause, while of this cause itself the further principle — 
what gives it meaning and guides it — is the purpose of 
good, the intention of profit, design to a right and lit end. 
There are thus, as we saw once before, four causes, and 
generally co-operant in one and the same subject. There 
is the material cause, the formal cause, the efficient cause ; 
and there is also the final cause. All four causes may 


be found apart, as in the building of the house. Here is 
the matter, say stone, wood, lime, what not ; there is the 
form in the idea of the architect ; and there are the 
efficient causes in the various artizans. But it is the 
design that sets all the rest in motion ; and it is the last 
to be realized, though also the first of the four that comes 
into existence ; the final cause — namely, the comfort, con- 
venience, pleasure, the shelter and protection which the 
house is there alone to afford. In such a case, as we see, 
material, formal, efficient, and final causes are all four 
apart ; but in man, the formal, efficient, and final causes 
are at once and unitedly the soul — the soul which in its 
body is the master of matter. But man is still a 
creature ; of all the creatures he is but one. And of all 
the movements in the universe, and in the things of the 
universe, he is not the mover. But a mover there must 
be. In every movement that takes place there are always 
at once moved and mover ; and for the universal series 
and system of movements there must be an ultimate 
mover. Further, indeed, there must be an ultimate 
actuality. Potentiality, were it alone, as has been 
already said, would remain potentiality. Potentiality 
presupposes actuality. Were there no actuality already 
present, neither would there be any movement on the 
part of potentiality into actuality. There must therefore 
be a first actuality, and that first actuality must be the 
first mover, which, unmoved itself, moves all. But that 
first mover and that first actuality that is required for 
every other actuality, and requires no other for itself, is 
God — God eternal, increate, and immaterial. Not 
throughout never-ending time was there in night and 
chaos, in darkness and the void, potentiality alone, but 
what was, was actuality: always, and ever, and everywhere 
the infinite I AM. 

No one, I may venture to say, will read the latter half of 


the twelfth book, called by some the eleventh, by all, the 
Lambda of the Metaphysic, and yet feel inclined to repn >ach 
me with hebraizing Aristotle here. If we have not in 
the Greek the direct words of the Hebrew I AM, we have 
them, every such reader will, I feel sure, readily confess, 
fully in meaning. When we turn from Plato to Aristotle, 
it is usually said that we turn from the warmth of feel- 
ing to the coldness of the understanding, from the 
luxuriance of figurative phrase to the dryness of the 
technical term, from poetry to prose ; but to my mind 
these five chapters of Aristotle are, at lead in th< nr 
ideas, more poetical than anything even in l'lato. That 
irpodTov kivovv of Aristotle, let certain critics find what 
fault they may with it, is as near as possible, as near as 
possible for a Greek then, the Christian God. And 
Aristotle sings Him, if less musically than Milton, still in 
his own deep way, musical!?/, and in a vastly deeper 
depth philosophically than Milton. Especially in the 
seventh chapter of the twelfth book it is that we find 
that wonderful concentration and intensity of thought 
which, deep, dense, metalline-close, glows— unexpectedly 
and with surprise — glows into song — the psalm, the 
chant de profundis, of an Aristotle. It proceeds some- 
what in this way : — 

As there comes not possibly anything, or all, out of 
night and nothingness, there must be the unmoved 
mover, who, in his eternity, is actual, and substantial, 
one. Unmoved himself, and without a strain, he is the 
end-aim of the universe towards which all si rain. Even 
beauty is not moved, but moves ; and we move to beauty 
because it is beauty, not that it is beauty only because 
we move to it. And the goal, the aim, the end, moves 
even as beauty moves, or as something that is loved 
moves. It is thought that has made the beginning. As 
mere actuality, actuality pure and simple, as that which 


could not not-be, God knows not possibility, he is before 
and above and without potentiality, the beginning, the 
middle, and the end, the first and last, the principle and 
goal, without peers as without parts, immaterial, im- 
perishable, personal, single, one, eternal and immortal. 
On him hang the heavens and the earth. And his joy of 
life is always, as is for brief moments, when at its best, 
ours. In him indeed is that enduringly so. But it is 
impossible for us. For joy in him is his actuality, — 
even as to us the greatest joy is to be awake, to see and 
feel, to think, and so to revive to ourselves memories and 
hopes. Thought, intellection is his ; and his intellection 
is the substantial intellection of that which is substantial, 
the perfect intellection of that which is perfect. Thought 
as thought, intellection as intellection, knows itself even 
in apprehension of its object ; for holding and knowing 
this, it is this, and knowing and known are identical. 
Intellection, indeed, takes up into itself what is to be 
known, and what substantially is : it acts and is the 
object in that it has and holds it. What, then, there is of 
divine in intellection, that is diviner still in its actuality 
in God ; and speculation is what is the highest joy and the 
best. And if, as with us interruptedly, it is always in 
felicity so with God, then is there cause for wonder ; and 
for much more wonder if the felicity with God is of a 
higher order than ever it is with us. But that is so. In 
him is life ; for the actuality of intellection is life, and 
that actuality is his. Actuality that is absolute — that, as 
life of him, is life best and eternal. So it is we say that 
God is a living being, perfect and eternal. Life eternal 
and enduring being belong to God. And God is that. 

That is the great passage. 

There are many other passages, in several of his 
works, where Aristotle returns again and again to the 
bliss of mere thinking, the joy of Oecopta, speculation, 


contemplation, the joy and the bliss of Biayayij, of a life 
that lives on, without a change or a check, in the 
continuity of mere thinking. That to Aristotle is the 
enviable beatitude of the Godhead. So we can think of 
Aristotle as loving to retire from the world, always into 
the bliss of his own thoughts. There are circumstances 
in his life, as well as points in his will, that show Aris- 
totle in a very favourable light with regard to integrity, 
considerateness, and amiability, whether as affectionate 
father, loving spouse, warm and constant friend, or good 
master; but, perhaps, experience did not lead him to 
have any very high opinion of mankind as a whole. In 
his Rhetoric (ii. 5. 7), he speaks of it as a position of 
fear to be within the power of another, men being mostly 
bad, timid for themselves, and open to temptations of 
profit. And the general scope of the observation is not 
a solitary one. So it is, therefore, that, perhaps latterly 
at least, his own thoughts in solitude were to Aristotle 
his own best society. 

This is what Siaycoyij he assumes always for tin- 
Godhead as 7} aptcTTT), the best, and the best for us, too, 
but alas ! as he sighs, only /juicpbv xp^ov, only a short 
time, fjfuv, for us — the condition, namely, of contem- 
plative thinking, of inward peace, untroubled from 
without, where spirit is in the element of spirit, thoughl 
in the element of thought, spirit in spirit, thought in 
thought. This, in his Ethic (x. 7. 12), is what he holds 
to be the true life for us. " It becomes a man," he says 
there, " not, as some advise, being man to think as a man, 
or being mortal to think as a mortal, but to be in 
possibility, immortal (i<j> oaov eVSe'^rat, as Ear as possible, 
adavaT%eiv, to become immortal, make oneself immortal ) ; 
that is, it becomes a man, as far as possible, to lake on, 
assume immortality. Of course, it has been pointed oul 
that such life of self-absorption may suit the philosopher. 


but not at all the citizen ; and, in the same way, it has 
been objected that if Aristotle is a theist so far as he 
assumes or grants an intellectual God, he is not surely 
such so far as he denies this God the attributes of 
practical action. And, certainly, it is with accuracy that 
Erdmann, laying stress on Aristotle bettering Plato so far 
as reality is concerned, points, nevertheless, to a failure of 
this practical element in regard to the Godhead ; mean- 
ing that Aristotle had secluded his God too largely 
bo i lie region of contemplation. But, says Erdmann, 
Aristotle " could not have done otherwise, for the time had 
not yet come when God should be known as the God that 
took on himself tt6vos, labour, without which the life of 
God were in heartless ease, and troubled with nothing, 
while with it alone is God love, and with it alone is God 
the Creator." " It was reserved for the Christian spirit," 
adds Erdmann, " to see in God at once rest and move- 
ment, work and weal." And, no doubt, as I say, that 
has its own accuracy. But it is to be said also that 
where there is question of the citizen, Aristotle does 
not confine himself to the joys of contemplation, but 
has something to say on the duties of action as well. 
Similarly, then, let Aristotle have expressed himself as he 
may on the intellectual aspect of the Godhead, it by no 
means follows that he deserves to be called by such an 
ugly word as atheist, because, when occupied with one 
thing, he did not turn his attention to another. It is 
impossible better to illustrate this than by a reference to 
the actual fact of Aristotle's practical philosophy. And 
here the mastery of Aristotle in regard to what is 
sensible and sound, as well as deep and true, will be 
more readily apparent, perhaps, than even where it is 
speculation, theory, that is concerned. I know nothing 
more complete and cogent than what we have from 
Aristotle, practically, as regards morals and the State. 

NATUEE. 143 

Here the question is, How is man to realize his life 
individually and in association • Man's growth is . 
to himself to realize. The principle in him is Dot a mere 
force which, as in processes of nature, as in plant, 
beast, acts, bo to speak, in his despite, or without consult- 
ing him. Unlike processes of mere nature, unlike plant, 
unlike beast, man has his own self very much in his own 
hands. He kuows that he is from nature, he knows that 
nature is in him; but he knows that, if only so, he is 
evil and the had. He knows that he must control 
nature in him ; he knows thai he must lift it, thai he 
must lift sense into reason. Even externally he knows 
that nature is his friend only if he harnesses it. He 
must drive nature out — out into the wilderness, while he 
remains himself in the cornfield. Nature clamours and 
brawls and storms around him : bul he has made himself 
a hearth and sits by it. Nature fills the hollows of the 
earth with poisons, or hangs them on the tree; hut man 
transforms them into health and the means of health. It 
is somewhat in this way that we may conceive Aristotle 
to regard man, wdien he approaches him to build man 
into manhood, and men into humanity — man into man- 
hood being the province of ethics, men into humanity the 
province of politics. How it is that man stands in need 
of process and progression in either direction will readily 
suggest itself by reference to what I have said of an 
element of nature within him and around him. That 
element, while it is to be walled out from without, has to 
be eliminated from within. On both sides it is man's 
business to convert nature into reason. No doubt, much 
mistake still obtains here. There are those to whom the 
prescript, Follow nature, is the open sesame of salvation, 
and who, hardly opposed by any one in that form, are 
yet silently controverted by the unceasing industry of 
millions and millions of hostile life-points— parasites — 


without and within them. So far as religion is con- 
cerned, indeed, there have always been the two allegations : 
on the one hand, that man is by nature bad ; and, on the 
other, that man is by nature good. I daresay what has 
been already said will not be far from suggesting the false 
abstraction of either phrase. Man, in that he is of 
sense, falls into the danger of sense ; but man, in that he 
is of reason, rises into the safety and security of reason. 
But both sense and reason are in the nature of man ; 
and that nature may be named good or bad accord- 
ingly. Nevertheless, if either side is to be termed more 
exclusively nature, surely that side must be sense. It is 
when we obey sense that we are said to obey nature, and 
when we obey reason that we are said to rise above sense 
and, consequently, above nature. Not but that there 
may be legitimate application enough of the maxim or 
precept, Follow nature. That nature, however, means an 
emancipated nature, an enfranchised nature, a moralised 
nature, a nature that has been lifted from the ground, 
the blind, confused ground of the particular, and placed 
on the specular heights of the universal. In regard 
to clothing, eating, sleeping, drinking, etc., there is much 
talk about following nature ; but if we look close in all 
such cases, we shall find that to obey nature as it is 
named, is to disobey nature as it is. Nature when she 
calls to man, with the appetites, vanities, envies, and 
sloths she has given him, in regard to his eating, 
drinking, clothing, sleeping, calls to him in general " not 
wisely, but too well." Immanuel Kant lay down at 
ten and rose at five ; George Noel Gordon, Lord Byron, 
sat up all night and breakfasted at four in the after- 
noon ; which of these men can be most truly said 
to have followed nature ? Surely it was nature the 
Lord followed when he yielded to his own inclinations, 
and surely Kant had put himself in bonds to reason 


and against nature, when Lampe was obliged to admit 
that his master had never lain still a moment Longer 
than he was called. Not hut that, in its overmuch, 
it was only a kind of bastard reason that Kant 
obeyed after all! No doubt, it was only some copy- 
line, " early to bed and early to rise," etc., that Kant 
followed, as, indeed, such exemplary copy lines were 
everywhere set by the Aufklarung at that time. It 
was in deference to some such copy-lines that Madame 
de Genlis, as governess to a royal family, fed her young 
princes and princesses on bread and milk, and gave 
them cow-houses to sleep in. 

But what Aristotle would have from or for man 
was, after all, only his own happiness. Thai was his 
highest good, he taught him; but, then, it was not from 
nature that it came, but reason. Not but that it was 
true still that nothing on earth could be made happy 
without consultation of its not ere. To give success to 
anything, we must give it its own swing; and to effect 
happiness for man, we must effect the realization of his 
nature. But that nature, at its truest and best, that 
nature at its realest, is not mere animal nature; it is, 
on the contrary, rational nature. And only by being 
put in accordance with reason is it that nature in man 
can be realized. Reason is the work of man, and man 
is to be realized in his work. As it is with the flute- 
player or the statuary, says Aristotle, whose happiness 
lies in the successful practice of his work, so it is with 
man generally. He must have the full exercise ami 
complete realization of the ivepyeia, the enemy thai is 
proper to him. But when a man accomplishes this, he 
is called virtuous; it is only when he is virtuous thai 
man is able to realize himself; and virtue requires to be 
developed. All the principles in connection here. Aris- 
totle expounds at full, and in the clearest and most 



interesting manner, in his Ethics, which is essentially a 
modern book. Curiously analytic and telling, captivating, 
— that is the good sense of the world, one half of the 
world's historical life back, and it is the good sense of 
the world still. A like good sense we have in Aristotle's 
politics. If it is man's virtue to realize emphatically 
himself, then is that possible for him only in the State. 
Hence it is ours only to live in the sense, and feeling, 
and knowledge of what is due to the State. So living, we 
shall be neither demagogue nor obstructive, not a partizan 
of self under any name. But it cannot be my intention 
to enter into the details of either Aristotle's ethics or 
Aristotle's politics ; it is sufficient that I refer to their 
interest, and their excellence, and their useful application 
to these our own days and our own experiences. At the 
same time our main object here was to point out by the 
example of his practical philosophy as respects man, that, 
if Aristotle, in one regard, seemed unduly to emphasize 
the bliss of mere contemplation on the part of Deity, he 
might not have been without practical ideas in the 
other regard either. He certainly seems to accentuate 
mere contemplation as the ultimate good even for man 
himself ; and yet there is that vast and grand practical 
philosophy of his, both for the individual and the State. 
So, even in unmoved contemplation, it may be that 
Aristotle does not conceive the Godhead to be wanting in 
influence on, and care of, the affairs of mankind. He has 
such words as these : Poets may lie, but God cannot be 
envious, and neither is he inactive ; for man {Pol. vii. 1), 
if he would be happy, must act, even as God acts, accord- 
ing, namely, to virtue and to wisdom. All things for 
Aristotle are directed to an end, an end which is good, an 
end and a good which are ultimate — God. There is but 
one life, one inspiring principle, one specular example in 
the whole. All is for God, and from God, and to God. He 


is the all-comprehending unity, in whose infinite I am 
all things rest; but he is the ivepyeia, the actuality, also, 
that realizes them all from the least to the greatest. 
Even should we admit, what we do not admit, that con- 
templation, as conceived by Aristotle, excludes action, 
we would still point again, in proof of the purity of his 
theism, to that wonderful hymnic inspiration of his 
wonderful twelfth book. There is but one idea in the 
midst of that inspiration ; and for the first time to the 
whole pagan world, for the first time to the whole great 
historical world, it is the complete idea of a one, supreme, 
perfect, personal Deity. It is for Greece ultimate and 
complete monotheism. I cannot conceive how, in any 
sense, the word atheist, with as much as that before us, 
can even by mistake be applied to Aristotle. The trans- 
lator of the Mdaphysic in Bonn's Classics, however, does 
so apply it, but in the midst, as one is happy to see, of 
insoluble inconsistency and contradiction. It is in 
reference to Aristotle's attitude as regards what are 
called the moral attributes that the application is made. 
Nevertheless, in identically the same reference, we can 
read this: "It is indeed remarkable to find Aristotle 
thus connecting the moral attributes of the Deity with 
what we would call God's natural attributes." That is, 
Aristotle does give God practical or moral attributes. 
Then elsewhere we have this complete characteriza- 
tion: "The Stagyrite, therefore, beholds in God a 
Being whose essence is love, manifested in eternal 
energy; and the final cause of the exercise of his 
divine perfections is the happiness which lie wishes 
to diffuse amongst all his creatures; and this happiness 
itself doth He participate in from all eternity. Besides, 
His existence excludes everything like the notion of 
potentiality, which would presuppose the possibility of 
non-existence; and, therefore, God's existence is a 


necessary existence. Further, also, He is devoid of 
parts, and, without passions or alterations, possessed of 
uninterrupted and eternal life, and exercising his functions 
throughout infinite duration." Now, I think it will be 
admitted that many of these characters are of a quite 
Christian quality; they may, for Aristotle, be even a 
little too Christian ; so that we may not unnaturally 
expect excuse for our wonder at association with them 
of the word atheist. 

Cicero has preserved for us a passage from a lost 
work of Aristotle's which, in its bearing on the proofs 
for the Godhead, has seldom probably for power and 
beauty, whether of idea or diction, been either equalled 
or excelled. It is thus (d. N. D. ii. 37) that Aristotle, 
as Cicero says, pirieclare, admirably, expresses himself : 
" Suppose there were a people living under ground, but 
in splendid domiciles, filled with statues and pictures, 
and all the beautiful things that constitute in men's minds 
happiness, — suppose, too, that, though secluded to their 
subterranean abodes, they had heard of some strange 
power on the part of some unknown supernatural beings 
that were named gods, — suppose then that the earth 
should open to this people, and that they should come 
forth from their darkness into the light of day, — then, 
assuredly, we must suppose, when, all of a sudden, they 
saw the earth, and the sea, and the sky, and the great 
cloud musters moving in the air, and the mighty sun in 
the glory and beneficence of his all-pervading brightness, 
— or when, again, it was night, and they saw the be- 
spangling stars, and the moon that wanes and waxes in 
her gentleness, and all those movements immutable in 
their appointed courses from eternity, — then, assuredly, 
as we must suppose, they would think that there are 
gods whose handiwork all these wonders were/' 

Cicero, as we know, speaks of the to us hard, dry 


Aristotle being sweetly and exuberantly eloquent. Flurru n 
orationis aur cum fund ens, pouring forth a golden flood of 
declamation: so it is that he pictures Aristotle to us. 
And it would seem that Aristotle really had written in 
that style works which are now lost to us. At all 
events, it seems true that, let modern scepticism as to 
the so-called exoteric writings of Aristotle be as well- 
founded as it may,— it seems true that he did compose, 
in a popular form, a dialogue on philosophy, from the 
third book of which Cicero took his extract. And, 
however all that may be, it is quite certain that, if 
Aristotle really wrote what Cicero pretends to have 
extracted from him, then the extravagant terms which 
have been applied to that golden ovatio of his art- 
more than justified ; for it is impossible to deny that 
the extract in question is a morsel of genuine eloquence 
that is at the same time popular. The great Humboldt 
praises it in his Kosmos (ii. 16). "Such argument for 
the existence of celestial powers," he says, "from the 
beauty and infinite grandeur of the Creation, stands very 
much alone in Antiquity." It is indeed magnificent, and 
reminds us of the inspired Psalmist in his deeper Eebrew 
grandeur. " The heavens declare the glory of God ; and 
the firmament showeth His handy-work. Day unto day 
uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. 
... He hath set a tabernacle for the sun : which is as a 
bridegroom coming out of his chamber. . . . His going forth 
is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the 
ends of it : and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof." 
How all that brings home to us at once the grandeur and 
the stability of the universe ! To borrow an earlier illus- 
tration. Hundreds of years ago, thousands of years ago, 
the Hebrew bard, from the streets of Jerusalem, as the 
Greek philosopher from the streets of Athens, could look 
up into the night, and see the stars, and the moon, and 


the clouds, even as we can. Ay, when the first stone of 
the first pyramid was laid, all was as now, in man, and 
bird, and beast, and earth, and heaven. For man at 
least, civilised man, the world is as it was in the begin- 
ning These names and dates by which we would drive 
God from us, are names and dates, not in time, but 
eternity. With our scales and weights, and tapes and 
measuring-rods, we do but deceive ourselves : what is, is 
dimensionless ; the truth is not in time ; space is all too 
short for a ladder to the Throne. And what we say 
now, was said by Aristotle then. Custom hides it from 
us ; but not one of us can go out into the night and see 
the heavens, without asking, as Napoleon did, but " Mes- 
sieurs les philosophes, who made all that ? " That is the 
argument which Aristotle, as reported by Cicero, makes 
vivid to us — the argument from design, the proof in 
Natural Theology that there is a Supreme God. So it is 
that he feigns his underground people coming up to the 
light of day. And Aristotle has not been left without 
imitators. "Adam," says David Hume, to whom what 
was poetry was pretty well starch, — " Adam, rising at once 
in Paradise, and in the full perfection of his faculties, 
would naturally, as represented by Milton, be astonished 
at the glorious appearances of nature, the heavens, the 
air, the earth, his own organs and members ; and would 
be led to ask, whence this wonderful scene arose ? " We 
have from Hume's contemporary, Button, too, an account 
of the experiences of the first man after his creation : 
How, " il se souvient de cet instant plein de joie et de 
trouble ou il sentit, pour la premiere fois, sa singuliere 
existence ; " how he, too, was astonished at " la lumiere, la 
voute celeste, la verdure de la terre, le cristal des eaux," 
etc. One, of course, has little hesitation in finding the 
original of all that in Cicero's extract, not but that the 
simple situation might very well have suggested his own 


picture to Milton. The one idea in all is, how a man 
should feel when he sees, for the first or the fiftieth time, 
as a man, the miracle of heaven, and the glory and beauty 
of the earth. To Aristotle, plainly, it must have brought 

the certainty and the conviction that it was not from 
accident it came, not from rv^v, nor yet from to avrc- 
/xarov, the spontaneity of chance. The whole movement 
and life, on the contrary, must be inscribed with the 
words, end-aim and design, TeA.09 and ov eveica. Nature 
was not to Aristotle, as it was to Plato, the mere /*»; 6V, 
the mere region of the false. No, it is to him God's 
own handiwork, transcendent and alone in beauty, and 
wisdom, and beneficence. There is nothing in it in vain, 
nothing humblest but has its own nature to unfold, and 
its own life to realize. And there is a common striving, 
as though in mind and will, in all things towards <;,.,! 
who is their exemplar and their home. Each would pro- 
duce another like itself, says Aristotle, the plant a plain. 
the animal an animal, in order that, as far as possible, 
they too may participate in the eternal and divine ; for 
to that all tends. And again, Aristotle directly asks, 
directly puts the question, How are we to conceive this 
eternal principle {Met. xii. 10) ? Does it exist simply as 
the order of an army exists in the order of an army 
(which, as the moral order of the universe, was at one 
time the answer of Fichte) ? Or does it exist as the 
general of the army exists, from whom that order pro- 
ceeds? Contrary to what some say, Aristotle answers 
this question quite unequivocally. And I may adduce 
at once here the authority on the point of the two recog- 
nised masters in the Metaphysk of Aristotle. Of the-,'. 
the one, Schwegler, has edited the text of the book, with 
wonderful power translated it, and, in two volumes, com- 
mentated it ; while the other, Bonitz, who, for that and 
much else, is pretty well the acknowledged prince of 


Aristotelians, lias also edited the text, and, without trans- 
lating, but, with a perfect insight and marvellous sagacity, 
in admirable Latin, commentated it. " The answer of 
Aristotle," it is thus that the former, Schwegler, speaks, 
" is, that the Good exists in the universe as its designed 
order and intelligent arrangement ; but it exists also, 
and in a far higher form, ivitliout the universe as a 
personal being who is the ground and cause of this 
designed order and intelligent arrangement : the prin- 
ciple of immanence and the principle of transcendence are 
here brought together and combined in one." As for 
Bonitz, he heads his commentary of the last chapter of 
the great twelfth book v/ith the words : " How that which 
is good and beautiful exists in the universe of the world " 
— and he expresses himself on this Cjuestion, as I translate 
his Latin, thus : " In regard to the nature of the supreme 
principle and its relation to the world, whether that 
principle as the Good is to be referred to the divine 
nature of the first substance or to the order of the world 
itself, Aristotle finds that the Good has place in the world 
in both ways, the possibility of which he illustrates by 
the example of an army ; for the commander is certainly 
the prime source of the discipline of the army ; but, if he 
has rightly established that discipline, the individual parts 
of the army accord together of themselves. In the same 
way the first cause of that order which we observe in 
the world is to be assigned to the Supreme Intelligence, 
but then the parts of the world have been so ordered by 
him that they are seen to harmonize of their own accord ; 
for all things cohere with all things, and all tend to one." 
In the presence, then, of both these proofs and these tes- 
timonies, we must conclude that the views of Aristotle 
in the particular reference were very much our own. 
There was God transcendently existent ; but He had 
created the world in beauty and harmony. 


It is in a certain way in agreemenl with this that we 
are to understand the soul proper of man to enter into 

him, as it were, from without. Aristotle's own words 
are XelireraL rov vovv p,ovov dvpaOev iireLaievat ical delov 
elvai /xovou (d. G. A. ii. 3, med.). u We are left to con- 
clude that the soul alone enters from without, and is 
alone divine." The word for from without here, dvpaOev, 
meaning from outside, from out of doors, is too unequivo- 
cal for any quillet to he hung upon it. This soul, then, 
is the self-determinative principle of divine reason in 
man, and in it is the immortality of man. The two 
considerations cohere: God, the transcendent Deity as 
Creator of the universe, and man. in reason, as cope- 
stone, and key-stone, and end-aim of all Aristotle is 
specially emphatic on the unity of God. The universe 
must have a single head, like any other well-organized 
community. Polyarchy is anarchy: in monarchy alone 
is there order and law, and Aristotle winds up with the 
line from the second Iliad : Ovk dyaObv 7ro\vKoipavhy eU 
Kolpavos €<tt(o. "Many masters are not a good thing, lei 
there be but one." 

And it is in this way that " Greek philosophy has in 
Aristotle completed itself. Up to the time of Anaxa- 
goras," says Biese, " the real characters of objective exist 
ence were the business of philosophical inquiry. Through 
him reason came to be pronounced the principle of the 
world; whereupon, from Socrates onwards, the develop- 
ment of cognition, as exclusively in tin- special subjective 
faculty of thought, occupied philosophy : till at lasl Plato, 
through and in the Ideas, returned to the objectivity of 
cognition, without evincing it, however, as the power and 
the truth in actuality. Aristotle speculatively resolves 
the antithesis between reality and ideality, frees the 
world of sense from the character of mere illusory 
appearance, and raises it into the position of the genuine 


reality in which the Idea gives itself form and action. From 
this high position, to which the philosophical spirit of 
the Greeks had, in and through its own self, risen, Aris- 
totle considers and examines with interest the manifold 
forms of reality, and takes up into himself the entire 
wealth of Greek life, as it has developed itself in science, 
art, and the State, becoming thereby the substantial chan- 
nel through which to attain to a view of the Greek world, 
as well in its various aspects generally, as in regard to the 
historical development of its philosophy specially." 

There are other such testimonies from Germans in 
regard to Aristotle. In fact, when one considers the 
enormous development of the study of Aristotle among 
them which this century exhibits, with the great names 
that belong to it, — Bekker, Brandis, Biese, Bonitz, 
Schwegler, Prantl, Trendelenburg, Michelet, Heyder 
Stahr, Waitz, Zeller, and even a whole host more, — it 
must be evident that it would quite be possible to fill 
entire pages in the general reference. Even in a special 
regard, as concerns matters of fact in science, there are 
great names in all the countries that bear their emphatic 
testimony to the ability, compass, and exactitude of 
Aristotle. Thus Cuvier, for example, " lavishes un- 
stinted praise " on much that concerns Birds ; while both 
Cuvier and Owen regard as " truly astonishing " the 
fulness and accuracy of his details in respect to the 
Cephalopods. Franzius, in that connection, and other- 
wise, alludes to the " surprising result that, in many 
references, Aristotle possessed a far more extensive and 
intimate knowledge than we." The celebrated Johann 
von Miiller expresses himself in this way : " Aristotle 
was the clearest head that ever enlightened the world ; 
he possessed the eloquence of a great, all-penetrating 
understanding, supported on the direct observation of 
experience : he is astonishingly learned, and, in natural 


history, compared with Buffon, has led me into remark- 
able thoughts." Even, as we saw, Mr. Darwin him elf, 
who is recent enough, and, certainly, a special experl 
enough, when he reads Aristotle on the Parts of Ani- 
mals in the admirable translation which, with its valu- 
able notes, had been executed and forwarded to him 
by his friend Dr. Ogle, is obliged to cry out in his letter 
of acknowledgment by return : " 1 had not the most 
remote notion what a wonderful man he (Aristotle) was : 
Linnaeus and Cuvier have been my two gods, th 
in very different ways; but they were mere schoolboys 
to old Aristotle." Aristotle, however, is no mere 
specialist : he is as wide as the circumference, and as 
the centre deep. The old idea of him is that he is cold 
and dry, technical, practical, and of the earth earthy 
only. But this is not the case. Aristotle is even a 
deeper mind than Plato. He may take up thin 
he finds them, or as they come to him ; but he never 
lets them go till he has wrung from them their very 
inmost and utmost. We have to bear in mind, too, 
that we have lost five-sixths of his writings, while tin- 
best of the sixth we have has suffered lamentably. 
For myself here, I feel in this way, that, if T were 
condemned to solitary confinement for the rest of my 
life, and no book allowed me but an edition of 
Aristotle, I should not, as a student, conceive myself 
ill-served. Perhaps, indeed, looking round me to think, 
I know only three other collective writings which, in 
such circumstances, I should wish added to those of 
Aristotle; but these I shall leave to your own con- 


Professor Blackie, after hearing the foregoing lecture, 
was kind enough further to honour it by publishing 
(as dated) the following obliging note and admirable 
verses : — 


(Lilies written after hearing the masterly discourse on the Philosophy 
and Theology of Aristotle by Dr. Hutchison Stirling, in the University 
of Edinburgh, on Saturday, 23rd March.) 

Well said and wisely ! Who would measure take 

Of his true stature, let him choose the tall : 
We all are kin with giants when we make 

Ourselves the big yoke-fellows of the small. 
Give me no peeping scientist, if I 

Shall judge God's grandly-ordered world aright ; 
But give, to plant my cosmic survey high, 

The wisest of wise Greeks, the Stagirite. 
Not beetles he alone and grubs might ken, 

Narrow to know, and curious to dissect, 

But with a broad outlook he stood erect, 
And gauged the planful ways and works of men, 

And owned the God who rules both great and small, 

The soul, and strength, and shaping power of all. 

John Stuart Blackie. 

The Scotsman, Tuesday, March 26, 1889. 


The Sects — The Skeptics — The Epicureans — Epicurus — Leucippus 
and Deniocritus— Aristotle, Plafc - . Pantheism— Chry- 
sippus— Origin of evil — Antithesis Negation— Epictetus — The 
Neo-Platonists [mportant mx hundred years— Course of his- 
tory—Reflection at last — Aufklarung, Etevolution— Borne — 
The atom, the Caesar — The despair of the old, the hope of 
the new — Paganism, Christianity— The State— The temple 
— Asceticism — Philosophy, the East, Alexandria — The Neo- 
Platonists— Ecstasy — Cicero — Paley and the others all in him 
— All probably due to Aristotle — Sextus— Philo Judaeus — 
Minucius Felix — Cicero now as to Dr. Alexander Thomson 
and the Germans — A word in defence. 

What, for philosophical consideration, follows Aristotle, 
are what are called the Sects — the Stoics, tin • Epicureans, 
and the Skeptics. Our subject, however, relates only to 
the proofs for the existence of God : and we shall have 
to do with the Sects, consequently, only so far as they 
have any bearing on those proofs: it is not the history 
of philosophy that we are engaged on. Now, in 1 
to that bearing, the very name of the Sect may here, in a 
case or two, be determinative and decisive. Of them all, 
in fact, it is only among the doctrines of the Stoics that 
we shall find anything that bears on our business. The 
Skeptics, for example, knew nothing — neither a kci\6v 
nor an alayjpov, neither a hUaiov nor an aSi/cov, neither a 
good nor a bad, neither a right nor a wrong. They 
knew not at all that this is more than it is thai ; that 
anything, in truth, is; that, in fact, anything is, any 
more than that it is not. Their standpoint was hroffl'. 


they would not speak ; or it was afcaraXri^la, and they 
did not understand ; or it was ajapa^la, and they would 
not be troubled. It is in vain to seek for any argument 
on their part in reference to the existence of the God- 
head. The very best and most advanced of them admitted, 
in regard to anything, only a more or less of perhaps. 

Nor with the Epicureans are we one whit better 
placed. They believe in no reality but that of the 
body : they have no test for that reality but touch, 
or sight, or hearing — the ear, or the eye, or the fingers ; 
and the transcendent object we would prove is within 
the reach of no sense. As it is written : " Eye hath not 
seen, nor ear heard." In fact, Epicurus directly tells us 
that we are not to believe in design, but only in the 
movements proper of mere nature. We are not to sup- 
pose, he says, the order of the universe to result from 
the ministration or regulation of any blessed god, but 
that, to the original consequences of the whirlings to- 
gether at the birth of the world are due the necessary 
courses of movement (Diog. L. 24, 76). In short, in all 
such matters we are to see only a physical operation 
{Hi. 78). Why Epicurus will have all from natural 
causes, and not from any influence of beings super- 
natural is, that belief in the latter would be the occasion 
of fear. Very evidently, Epicurus has been an ex- 
ceedingly sensitive person. For him the best thing from 
within is calm enjoyment, and the worst thing from 
without fear. All is useless and superfluous that does 
not promote the one and prevent the other. So it is 
that it is cpiite idle to have knowledge, as knowledge 
of astronomical phenomena, say, since those who have it 
are not led thereby to happiness ; but, on the contrary, 
have rather more fears ; for such is the effect of belief in 
the action of superterrestrial powers. But all accounts 
of such powers are only fables. Undisturbed assurance — 

EPICURUS. 1 5 9 

that is the only end (ib. 85). " Our life," lie says, '' has 
need, not of ideology and empty opinion, but of un- 
troubled tranquillity " (ib. 87). "As for the size of the 
.sun and the stars, it is, as regards us, just such as 
it seems" (ib. 91). "With contradiction of our senses 
there can never be true tranquillity" (ib. 9G). " It do 
meteorological apprehensions, and none about death, dis- 
turbed us, we should have no need of physiology " 
(ib. 142). But "death is nothing to us, for what is 
dissolved feels not, and what is not felt is for us 
nothing " (ib. 139). These notices will be sufficient to 
show the absolutely materialistic nature of Epicureanism, 
and how it rejected everything like teleological agency, 
or explanation, and referred all to the mechanical move- 
ments of mere corporeal particles. In short, what we 
have from Epicurus is but a repetition of the atoms 
of Democritus and Leucippus, of whom Aristotle (d. <■'. A. 
v. 18) said that "they rejected design, and referred all 
to necessity." It seems to be they also whom Plato 
(Soph. 246 A, and Theaet, 155 E) has in his eye when 
he speaks of "those who pull all things down to earth 
from heaven and the unseen, stubbornly maintaining, 
with their insensate ringers on rocks and oak Decs, 
that only what they touch is, and that body and being 
are the same thing, while of things that are incorporeal 
they will not hear a word." Neither Skeptics noi 
Epicureans, then, are here anything for us. 

The religion of the Stoics, so far as they had a re- 
ligion, consisted probably, on the whole, in a sort of 
clumsy and crude material pantheism. Nevertheless, 
unlike both Skeptics and Epicureans, they did poinl 
to the nature of this universe — its contingency and 
design — as demonstrative of its origin in a divine and 
intelligent causality. This causality is to them a con- 
scious God, creative of the world through his own will. 


but, according to the necessity of law, in beauty and 
in order ever — and as much as that, in its terms at 
least, must be confessed to be theistic rather than 
pantheistic. The argument of Socrates is put by them : 
Can we fancy that there is consciousness in us — the 
parts, only — and not also, and much more, in the All 
from which we come. Aulus Gellius (vii. 1) testifies to 
the cogency with which the celebrated Stoic, Chrysippus, 
redargued the reasonings in denial of a Providence, 
because of the evils in the world, — the reasonings, namely, 
that if Providence were, evil were not ; but evil is, there- 
fore Providence is not. " ^Nothing can be more absurd," 
says Chrysippus* " than to suppose that there could be 
good, if there were not evil. Without correspondent and 
opposing contrary, contrary at all there could be none. 
How could there be a sense of justice, unless there were 
a sense of injustice ? How possibly understand bravery, 
unless from the opposition of cowardice ? or temperance, 
unless from that of intemperance ? prudence, from im- 
prudence, etc, ? Men might as well require," he cries, 
" that there should be truth and not falsehood. There 
are together in a single relation, good and evil, happiness 
and unhappiness, pleasure and pain. They are bound 
together, the one to the other, as Plato says, with 
opposing heads ; if you take the one, you withdraw both 
(si tulcris unum, abstulcris utrumque)." On similar 
grounds Chrysippus vindicates or explains the fact of 
man suffering from disease. That is not something, he 
would seem to say, ordered, express, and on its own 
account. It is only there Kara TrapaKoXovOrjacv, as it 
were by way of sequela and secondary consequence. 
The greater intrinsic good is necessarily attended by the 
lesser extrinsic evil. If you make the bones of the head 
delicate and fine for the business of thought within, you 
only expose it the more to blows and injuries from without. 


"In the same way diseases also and sicknesses enter, 
while it is for health that the provision is made. And so, 
by Hercules, while by the counsel of nature there Bprings 
in men virtue, faults at the very same moment by a 
contrary affinity are born." In this way the Stoics have 
put hand on a most important and cardinal truth — this 
truth, namely, that discernibleness involves negation. 
We should not know what warmth is, were there no 
cold ; nor light, were there not twin with it darkness. 
Everything that is, is what it is, as much by what it 
is not, as by what it is. The chair is not a table; 
the table is not a chair. Negation, nevertheless, is no 
infringement on affirmation: evil may he without pre- 
judice to the perfection of the world. Evil in the 
creation of the universe was not the design : it is but 
the necessary shadow of the good, as the dark of light. 
"Just as little," says Epictetus (Enchiriil. c. 27), "as 
there is a target set up not to he hit, is there in the 
world a nature of the bad" — an independent bad. " In 
partial natures and partial movements, stops and hind- 
rances there may be many, but in the relation of the 
wholes, none" (Plut. ref. St. 35). 

The Neo-Platonists belong to a much later period than 
the principal Stoics; but, being Greek, we may refer to 
them here — not that we can illustrate the arguments for 
the existence of God technically from their writings, or at 
all further from them themselves, than by their devotion 
to God, a devotion which manifested itself in the form of 
what has been named ecstasy. This phase of humanity, 
however, or of philosophy, is to be better understood by 
reference to the historical period at which it appeared. 

From the death of Aristotle in 322 B.C. to the con- 
version of Constantine, or say, to the date, more memorial 
as a date, of the Council of Nice in 325 A.t>., there is an 
interval of some six hundred and more years. Now these 



six hundred years belong to that period in the history of 
the world when it is probable that a greater number of 
civilised men were intellectually interested, occupied, and 
active than ever before or since. The cause of this was, 
so far, politics without, and religion within. 

The general course in the common life of mankind 
seems to be this : men are at first hunters, passing 
gradually, perhaps, into nomads ; and intellect can assert 
itself for many many years only in wild warfare, crude art, 
superstition rather than religion, and a dawning literature 
that is, for the most part, exclamation or song. By and 
by the wanderers settle themselves, and take to agri- 
culture. Agriculture necessitates dwelling-places and 
implements — quite an assemblage of coverings and 
shelters, of goods and chattels. This assemblage necessi- 
tates the artizan to make them and mend them ; and the 
artizan, to be paid and to buy, necessitates exchange. Then 
exchange itself necessitates, or, in fact, is trade ; while 
trade, again, necessitates the town. Now, in this settled 
life, what men are to become the leaders ? Not any 
longer, as was formerly the case, necessarily the young, 
the strong, and the bold. What is required now is, so 
to speak, counsel, advice, direction in practical conduct ; 
and counsel, advice, direction — direction in practical 
conduct — belongs to him who is tempered, chastened, 
matured by experience ; enlarged, enlightened, and 
enriched, made wise by actually living life's many and 
multiform eventualities. The calm hearts and grey heads 
are now the guides, and this their guidance naturally, 
in expression, takes the form of proverbs. Practical 
sagacity is the crown of life. But the faculty thus 
brought into action is the intellect. Insight into results 
and the means of results, the causes of results, is now the 
life of the matured brain. Every event is canvassed, 
every proposal is canvassed, with all that appertains to 


it, in the new light that now is ever spreading, and ever 
clearing around them. But in the midst of all this 
science is seen to have taken birth, and to grow. Step 
by step man learns to harness to his own ends the very 
powers that were his fears ; and step by step he becomes 
presumptuous, contemptuous. What he feared is weak, 
he finds ; and he that feared is now strong. There are 
cobwebs all round about him from that old past ; 
he laughs as he thinks of them, and will scatter them 
to the winds. Betimes it is an age of scepticism ; and 
bit by bit, politically, socially, religiously, the whole 
furniture of humanity is drawn into examination and 
doubt. And the more they examine, and ever the more 
they doubt, the more their rebellion at the old grows. 
Not a man but issues from his old wont as from a bond- 
age and darkness in which he has been wronged. He is 
bitter as he thinks of what is and of what was. They 
are all bitter as they think of what is and of what was. 
They are in their Aufklarung, and their Revolution must 
come — has come. They rush with a cry from their 
corners ; and, all together, like a flood, they lay flat the 
walls and the roof that had sheltered and saved them. 
For a time all is joy, happiness, delight, action, in the 
new light and the fresh air. But presently the mood is 
changed, and they wander disconsolate amid the ruins. 
They have nothing now to come to them and lift them 
into a life that is common ; they have nothing to believe 
in. They are together ; but they are single, each man 
by himself. Had they been scattered down from a 
pepper-box, they could not be more disjunct. 

This is the condition of the Sects and of the atoms 
around them ; for we are still in the ancient world 
— the ancient world at its close. Everywhere, at that 
time, there was the reality of political, social, religious 
revolution, if not the madness and violence, if not the 


blood, with which it has been convulsed and dis- 
figured into hideousness and horror here in Europe 
within a century. And what, generally over the 
known world, saved them from as much as that then 
was the shadow of a vast vulture in the air that had not 
even yet filled its all-devouring maw, and that, making 
their hearts beat, suddenly darkened and terrified them 
into the silence and stillness of an awaited doom. That 
vulture was Eome. Her prey was helpless, and she had 
but to seize. Any and everywhere she could stoop ; and 
any and everywhere she could seize. The entire world, 
within all its bounds, was her booty. And with this her 
booty at her feet, the insatiable maw was at length 
slutted, but not, even so, the fierce heart stilled. Even 
so, the fierce heart could not be stilled. The one vulture 
became a crowd of vultures. Each in the fierceness of 
its own heart — each in its own pain, turned and tore at 
the other ; and it was a distracted universe in fight, 
until at length and finally, utterly worn out, exhausted to 
the dregs, they sank in apathy at the feet of one, a single 
one of themselves, who, all too soon, drunk with solitude 
— the solitude of power and of place — reeled into the 
imbecility and delirium of the irresponsible, abstract, 
absolute self that knows not what to do with itself, nor 
any more what not to do — the realized Csesar ! 

What I endeavour to picture thus in these brief terms 
is the condition of the whole world during the greater 
part of the six hundred years which I have signalized. 

The fall of the old world, which was at once political, 
religious, and philosophical, was characterized by a uni- 
versal atomism. Politically, the individual, as an atom, 
found himself alone, without a country, hardly with a 
home. Religiously, the individual, as an atom, has lost 
his God ; he looks up into an empty heaven ; his heart 
is broken, and he is hopeless, helpless, hapless in despair. 


Philosophically, all is contradiction ; there is no longer 
any knowledge he can trust. What this world is he 
knows not at all. He knows not at all what he himself 
is. Of what he is here for, of what it is all about, he is 
in the profoundest doubt, despondency, and darkness. 
Politically, religiously, and philosophically, thus empty 
and alone, it is only of himself that the individual can 
think; it is uuly for himself that the individual must 
care. There is not a single need left him now — he has not 
a single thought in his heart — but ev irpctTTetv, his own 
welfare. How he can best take care of himself, provide 
for his own comfort, or as the word was then, and, in 
like circumstances, still is, secure his own tranquillity, — 
effect it that that, his tranquillity, shall be undisturbed, — 
this now is the sole consideration. He becomes an 
Epicurean, and lives to sense. He lets his beard grow, 
and, as a Stoic, is a king in rags. Or he is the jeering 
Skeptic, and laughs at both at the same time that his own 
heart is but a piece of white ash. As one sees, it is an age 
of what is called particularism, subjectivity. Nothing is 
real now but what is particular, and particular for the par- 
ticular subject. Universal there is none. A universal is 
logical, a thing of the intellect ; and things of the intellect 
are no longer anything to anybody. A universal there is 
none ; in that sense — in the philosophical sense of per- 
manent, guiding, and abiding principle, object there is 
none. That is, there is no longer any common object for 
all men certainly to know, for all men certainly to believe 
in, for all men certainly to strive to. This that is now be- 
fore us is about the most important lesson that philosophy 
can bring to us — the lesson that lies in the antithesis of uni- 
versal and particular, of objectivity and subjectivity — a 
lesson that will be found more or less fully suggested, but 
only suggested, in the Note on the Sophists in the English 
Schwecder. It is such a time as what is now before us 


that best illustrates this lesson — a time when the old and 
the new are to be seen in the deadliest grips of internecine 
battle. The phoenix is being burned; the phoenix is 
being born. To the dying spasms of paganism the birth 
throes of Christianity oppose themselves ; and the hope 
of the new cannot but exasperate the despair of the old. 
There is, in fact, so far as the prevailing externality is 
concerned, but a heaving welter of misery everywhere. 
The State has perished ; and its organic cells, its magis- 
tracies, namely, and other offices, are dens and holes, 
mainly, for fox or wolf, for snake or worm. The gods 
have fled ; and in their temples there is only an 
empty echo of departing footfalls. The world is struck 
asunder and disintegrated into a mere infinitude of 
disjunct selves — selves that must in the wildest orgies 
rage, or, in the most prostrate asceticism, crouch. The 
West, in this its utter bankruptcy — religious, social, 
political, — if it looked around for help, could only look 
to the East. There, at least, there were still tales of 
religious communication, religious acceptance, religious 
srace. The darkening; mundane of the West would turn 
to what gleam there was of a still shining supra-mxmdaiiQ 
in the East. If philosophy, that had still words for the 
individual, was dumb in regard to all that was universal, 
theosophy still spoke. And Alexander, too, had flung 
down the barriers that, on this side and on that, had 
excluded union. He had, as it were, built a bridge 
between them ; he had founded a city, and given it his 
name — a city that, as common to orient and to Occident, 
became for both the centre of a new life. Here, in 
Alexandria, it was that occidentals, on the one hand, 
were orientalized into a theosophizing philosophy ; and 
orientals, on the other hand, were occidentalized into a 
philosophizing theosophy. The conditioning elements, 
Eastern, were Indian, Persian, but especially Jewish ; 



while, Western, they were the doctrines of Plato, Aris- 
totle, and perhaps, above all, Pythagoras ; and, as the 
one tendency led to the Gnostics, so we can say that the 
other terminated in the Neo-Platonists. And, beside 
both, there were the so-called Egyptian Therapeutae, who, 
under Parsee, Buddhist, Pythagorean influences, largely 
drew, probably as well, from the ascetic mysticism and 
cabbalistic doctrines of the Jewish Essenes. If Ptome 
had been a colluvies of outcast and fugitive particulars, 
surely Alexandria was a conflux, from the very ends of 
the earth, of streaming universals. 

As regards the Neo-Platonists, then, with whom we 
are more particularly interested, we can see how much 
they are conditioned by the historical influences that 
precede and surround their rise. They, too, like the 
Skeptics, the Epicureans, and the Stoics, would save the 
individual from the misery and unhappiness of the 
centreless, dispersed, and mutually self - repellent life 
that alone now is. But this they would effect by 
ecstasy. We are miserable, one may conceive them to 
feel, we are wretched, we are lost in this world, which 
has nowhere a refuge for us, which has nowhere a rest 
for our very feet. What signifies the indifference of the 
Stoic, who would conceal the serpent that still gnaws 
beneath his rags ? What signifies the complacency of 
the Epicurean, whose aching void within no sensuality 
can fill ? What signifies the jeer that covers the white 
ash of the Skeptic ? Security so, salvation so, there is 
none for us. This wild soul of ours that would know 
all, this wild heart of ours that would have and hold all 
— ah ! we would leap to God ; only with Him, on His 
bosom, in absorption into His essence, can there be satis- 
faction, consummation, peace for us ! This is the sort of 
rationale of the ecstasy by and in which Plotinus and the 
other Neo-Platonists would obtain entrance to the very 


presence of God — communion, as it were, with His very 
being. In them, too, we see the same loneliness, the 
same atomism, as in all the rest. They, too, have turned 
themselves away from the world. They are without, any 
longer, a nationality. Native country they have, any 
longer, none. Almost any longer they are without a 
home — without family, children, wife. All that remains 
to them still human, though they say themselves they 
are ashamed of their very bodies, and would gladly part 
with them, is the amiable vanity that meekly suffers — 
these disciples who will come to them ! 

Leaving the Greeks for the Eomans now, it is Cicero 
that will interest us most in regard to the arguments for 
the existence of the Godhead. It is impossible for us 
here to do any justice to the length of treatment which 
Cicero, in his dc Natura Deorum, bestows in particular, 
for example, on the argument from design ; he returns 
to it there a score of times, and it reappears again and 
again in his other philosophical works. In fact, it would 
almost seem as though even a Paley had but few supports 
to add to those already supplied by Cicero, and as though 
what the former had mainly to do was simply to elabor- 
ate the latter. Cicero follows design from the heavens 
to the earth and to the creatures of earth ; and Paley 
does no more. The sun, how it fills the world with its 
larga luce, its large light ! Should we, for the first time, 
suddenly see the light, what a species caeli, what a pre- 
sence the heavens would be for us ! It is only the 
custom of our eyes that stifles inquiry into the wonder of 
such things. But that any one should persuade himself 
that this most beautiful and magnificent world has been 
produced by a fortuitous concourse of atoms ! As well 
might innumerable scattered alphabets, thrown down, 
take shape before our eyes as the annals of Ennius. 
Who would call him a man who, seeing the assured 


movements of the heavens, the marshalled ranks of the 
stars, the harmony of all things mutually apt, should yet 
deny that he saw reason in them, and assign to chance 
the regulations of so great a wisdom, and a wisdom so 
impossible to he reached by any wisdom of ours ? He 
himself, certainly, is without a mind, who regards all that 
as without the guidance of a mind — all that which could 
not only not be made without reason, but which cannot 
possibly be understood without the highest reason. From 
things celestial Cicero passes to things terrestrial, and 
asks what is there in these in which the reflection of an 
intelligent nature does not appear ? There are the plants 
with their roots, their rinds, their tendrils, etc. There is 
the infinite variety of animals with their hides, fleeces, 
bristles, scales, feathers, horns, wings, and what not. 
All of them have their food provided for them ; and 
Cicero refers to the admirable manner in which their 
frames are adapted for the seizure and utilization of their 
food. All within them is so skilfully created and so 
subtly placed, that there is nothing superfluous, nothing 
that is not necessary for the conservation of life. The 
progression of animals, the adaptation of their construc- 
tion to their habits of life, their means of defence, beak, 
tooth, tusk, claw, etc. ; the trunk of the elephant, the 
cunning and artifices of various animals, as of spiders, 
certain shell-fish, certain sea birds, cranes, crocodiles, 
serpents, frogs, kites, crows, etc. etc. — I only name these 
things to suggest how much what we have been accus- 
tomed to read in Paley and the Bridgewater Treatises is 
largely, or for the most part almost universally, indeed, 
already represented in Cicero. Even the calculated con- 
trivances found within the animal, in its anatomical and 
physiological system, are gone into by Cicero at very 
considerable length and in particular detail. In short, 
the second book of the de Ncdura Deorum of Cicero may 


itself be regarded as, in preliminary sketch or previous 
outline, already a sort of Paley's Natural Theology or 
Bridgewater Treatise. In so early a work that would 
base itself on natural science, blunders, of course, there 
must be ; and they are there for the enemy to make his 
own use of them ; nevertheless, I will venture to say 
that whoever reads this book impartially and without 
prepossession will find himself under a necessity, willing- 
ingly and generously, to express his admiration and 
surprise. In fact, from various accidental vestiges, it 
may even be that a suspicion will grow that here, too, in 
the main, it is still Aristotle that we have before us. 
The de Mando wholly apart, it is quite possible that, in 
his lost work or works de Philosojjhia, Aristotle really 
did include such embryo Natural Theology that acted as 
suggestive exemplar to Cicero. It does seem that there 
are some slight hints to that effect in the references to, 
or the actual quotations from, Aristotle, which are to be 
found in other writers. 

In Cicero, for example, there occur, not once or twice, 
but several times, eloquent passages that lay stress on 
the analogy between this furnished and inhabited uni- 
verse and a furnished and inhabited house, or an adorned 
and decorated temple of the gods. " As," he says (second 
book, chap. 5), " any one coming into a house, or school, 
or forum, and seeing the design, discipline, method of all 
things, cannot judge them to be without a cause, but 
perceives at once that there must be some one who pre- 
sides over it and whom it obeys ; so, much more in such 
vast motions and such vast revolutions, orders of so 
many and so great things, in which immense and infinite 
time has found no falsity, he must conclude that such 
mighty movements of nature are governed by a mind." 
In the next chapter he says again, " If you should see a 
large and fine house, you cannot be brought to believe, 


even if you should see no master, that it was built for 
mice and weasels." Twice afterwards, also in the same 
work, there is allusion to this comparison of the world 
to a fine house built for a master, and not for mice. 

Now there actually are some signs in existence to 
suggest that it was Aristotle who was the original of this 
illustration, and even of its extension generally. Cicero 
himself, for example, in the thirteenth chapter of his 
second book, dc Finibus, has this : " They did not see 
that as the horse is born for the race, the ox for the 
plough, the dog for the chase, so man (ut ait Arisfotelcs) 
is born, quasi mortalcm deum, as though a mortal god, 
for two things, ad intclligcndum, namely, ct agendum." 
In a similar passage in the de Natura Deorum where, 
instead of Aristotle, Chrysippus is the authority, the 
two things appear as ad mundum contcmplandum ct 
imitandum. Born for thought and action before, man is 
now born for contemplation and imitation of the world. 
It is evident, however, that if the former words were 
those of Aristotle and the latter those of Chrysippus, 
these latter have only been borrowed from those former. 
But Cleanthes, as his master, preceded Chrysippus in the 
Stoic school ; and Cleanthes shows traces of Aristotle as 
the original quarry in these or similar references. Cicero, 
for example, twice over refers to a fourfold origin for 
the notion of Deity as — 1. Presentiments or divinations 
natural to the mind itself ; 2. Destructive movements of 
nature, storms, thunder, and lightning, etc, ; 3. Provision 
and supply of all things necessary for us ; 4. The con- 
stant order of the celestial phenomena — twice over, as I 
say, Cicero refers to this fourfold origin of our belief in 
Deity, and twice over he refers it to Cleanthes. Now 
the inference is that Cleanthes again got this from 
Aristotle. There is more than one passage in Sextus 
Empiricus, namely (see Fragmenta Hcitz, p. 35), in 


which it is directly attributed to Aristotle that he said 
the notion of a God arose in us from the phenomena in 
the heavens and the experiences of our own minds 
through the communications of dreams or prophetic 
vision just before death. There is the remarkable 
passage we cannot forget in regard to the feelings of 
a subterranean race of mortals if suddenly brought into 
the light of day or the beauty of the night ; and again 
also there is in the tenth chapter of the twelfth book 
of the Metaphysic that comparison of the order and its 
Commander in the world with the discipline and general of 
an army, followed up as it is there by a similarly consti- 
tuted reference to a house with its planned and regulated 
household. The illustration of the army will be found 
carried out at full length in Sextus, who figures a spectator 
to look down from the Trojan Ida, and observe the army 
of the Greeks variously marshalled, " the horsemen first 
with their horses and their chariots, and behind them the 
infantry," as Homer is quoted to say. 

Generally in this reference it is certain that Philo 
Judaeus did adopt the illustration of the house, carrying 
it out, too, into considerable detail. Of course Philo 
Judaeus was born some fourscore years after Cicero, and 
might very well have borrowed from him ; but being the 
accomplished Grecian he was, and writing in Greek, it is 
quite probable that he took the illustration from a Greek 
rather than a Eoman source. It is in this way he 
speaks : " Those before us inquired how it was we 
assumed the Godhead, and those who were considered the 
best of them, said that from the world and its parts, from 
the excellences that were in these, we formed an infer- 
ence to the cause of the world ; for as, should any one 
see a house skilfully constructed with forecourts, porticoes, 
and all the various chambers for the various persons and 
purposes, he would conclude to its builder, — for not 


without art and an artist would he suppose the house to 
have been completed ; and in the same way as regards a 
city, or a ship, or any other lesser or greater production ; 
so now, also, any one coming into this vastest house or 
city — the world — and beholding the revolution of the 
heavens, and the planets, and the stars, and the earth, 
and then the animals and plants, assuredly he would 
reason that these things had not been constructed without 
a consummate skill, but that the creator of all this is 
God." There are other passages also in which Philo 
serves himself with the same illustration. We find it 
repeated by others after him, as, in a remarkable manner, 
by Minucius Felix. 

It is now in place to say that, so far, we have seen 
but the two arguments — that known as the teleological, 
and that other which has been named cosmological. We 
have still to see the rise of the third and, to us, 
concluding argument. This, the ontological argument or 
proof, unlike the others, has a Christian origin, in that, 
as an invention or device, it is due, namely, to Anselm, 
who died Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 1109. 
That is more than a millennium after Cicero. But it is 
to be borne in mind that, without any other exception 
than this of Anselm's, already, as Cicero presents it, the 
general argumentation was complete. Paley and the 
Bridgcivater Treatises, though writing it, so to speak, into 
modern instances, really added to the teleological argu- 
ment — generally as an argument — nothing whatever else. 
That argument, as it appears in the dc Ndtura Deorum, 
may be left on the whole as pretty well finished. 

I take it, we may suppose Cicero's to be good hands 
to leave it in. Dr. Alexander Thomson published in 
179G a translation of Suetonius; but his principal object 
in so doing, it seems, was to give him an opportunity of 
perorating in his own way on Roman literature in general. 


In the course of that peroration he has this emphatic 
affirmation, "The most illustrious prose writer of this or 
any other age is M. Tullius Cicero." But, alas ! even as 
Dr. Alexander Thomson was writing, the Germans were 
bent on altering all that. For many years back there 
has come only one note from Germany as regards Cicero. 
The vanity and vacillation of the man, together with the 
interminable wordiness of the writer, seem to have set 
everybody there against him — except the philologists, who 
will have no Latinity absolutely classical except pretty 
well only that of Cicero and Caesar. I could quote 
largely from the Germans themselves in support of what 
I say. But a sentence or two from Prantl, whose word, 
in consequence of his Eiesenarbeit, his giant labour on 
logic, is pretty well authoritative now — a sentence or two 
from Prantl, by way of specimen, will probably suffice. 
Prantl, indeed, seems unable even to speak the name 
Cicero without disgust. Cicero, he says, can certainly 
Schwatzen, that is, jabber or jaw. Then he speaks of his 
" entire impotence," and " equally disgusting verbiage ; " 
" Cicero, in fact," he says again, " is either so ignorant 
or possessed of such frivolous levity that he, the bound- 
less babbler that he is, has the conceit to think that, in 
his three books, ' Be, Oratore' he has brought together 
the Ehetoric of Aristotle and that of Isocrates, although 
it is notorious that in very principle there is an utter 
difference between the two." In a note here also, he has 
this : " Just generally, wherever Cicero names the name 
of Aristotle, the effrontery is revolting with which, 
without the slightest capability of an understanding, he 
presumes to enter a judgment either for praise or blame." 
These expressions will seem so extravagant as to defeat 
themselves. Nevertheless, the present sentence of philo- 
sophical Germany lies not obscurely at the bottom of 
them. I fear we must admit the vanity, the vacillation, 


the verbiage, and the want of either accuracy or depth ; 
but still one would like to say something for Cicero. As 
regards the Catiline conspiracy, for example, it was, to 
be sure, tremulously, but still it was truly, persistently, 
and successfully that he broke its neck. There are a 
considerable number of jokes too current in his name, as 
of the Roman Vatinius, who had been consul only for a 
few days, that his consulship had been a most remarkable 
one, that there had neither been winter, spring, summer, 
nor autumn during the whole of it; or of that other 
consulship which had been of only seven hours' duration, 
that they had then a consul so vigilant that during his 
whole consulship he had never seen sleep. These and 
other such jokes attributed to Cicero are to be found in 
Macrobius ; and I, for one, cannot believe that a man 
with humour in him wanted, like a pedant or a craven, 
either reality in his soul or substance on his ribs. Bather 
I will give him credit for both, sincerely thanking him, 
as well, for his three books, de Natura Dcorum. 

The lecturer has again gratefully to acknowledge the 
honouring obligation of Professor Blackie's felicitous 
verses on occasion of the foregoing : — 


(Lines written after hearing the Gifford Lecture by Dr. Hutchison 
Stirling on the Theism and Theology of the Stoics, Cicero,awl th A'- - 
Platonists, last Saturday in the University.) 

All hail, once more ! when nonsense walks abroad, 

A word of sense is music to the ear 
Vexed with the jar of fools who find no God 

In all the starry scutcheon of the sphere 
Outside their peeping view and fingering pains, 

And with the measure of their crude conceit 
Would span the Infinite. Where Buch doctrine reigns 

Let blind men ride Mind horses through the street : 


I'll none of it. Give me the good old Psalm x 

King David sang, and held it deadly sin 
To doubt the working of the great I AM 

In Heaven above, and voice of law within. 
Where'er we turn, from earth, and sea, and sky, 
God's glory streams to stir the seeing eye. 

John Stuart Blackie. 

1 Psalm xix., which subsumes under one category of intelligent 
reverence the physical law without, and the moral law within, and 
thus avoids the error of certain modern specialists, who see only 
what can can be seen in the limited field of their occupation. 

J. S. B. 

The Scotsman, Fridaij, April 5, 1889. 


Cicero— To Anselm — The Fathers — Seneca, Pliny, Tacitus — God to 
the early Fathers — Common consent in the individual and the 
race — Cicero — Irenaeus, Tertullian, Chrysostom, Arnobius, 
Clement of Alexandria, Lactantius, Cyril of Alexandria, Julian, 
Gregory of Nyssa, and others, Athanasius — Reid, religion, 
superstition — The Bible— F. C. Baur — Anselm— His argument 
— The College Essay of 1838— Dr. Fleming — Illustrations from 
the essay— Gaunilo — Mr. Lewes — Ueberweg, Erdmann, Hegel 
— The Monologium— Augustine and Boethius — The Proslogium 
— Finite and infinite — What the argument really means — 
Descartes — Knowledge and belief. 

With Cicero we reached in our course a most important 
and critical halting-place. As we have seen, he is even 
to be regarded as constituting, in respect of the older 
proofs, the quarry for the argumentation of the future. 
Henceforth, his works, indeed, are a perfect vallee de la 
Somme, not for celts, flint-axes, but for topics of dis- 
course. We have still, in the general reference other- 
wise, to wait those thousand years yet before Anselm 
shall arrive with what is to be named the new proof, the 
proof ontological, and during the entire interval it is the 
Fathers of the Church and their immediate followers 
who, in repetition of the old, or suggestion of the new, 
connect thinker with thinker, philosopher with philo- 
sopher, pagan with Christian. Before coming to Anselm, 
then, it is to the Fathers that we must interimistically 
pass. A word or two may be found in some few inter- 
vening writers, as Seneca, perhaps, or Pliny, or even 
Tacitus ; but the respective relevancy is unimportant. 



Seneca is a specious writer, with a certain inviting ease, 
as well as a certain attractive modernness of moral and 
religious tone about him, all of which probably he has to 
thank for the favour that made him an authoritative 
teacher during many centuries. But his lesson is seen 
pretty well now to be merely skin deep, and he is, 
accordingly, I suppose on the whole, for the most part 
neglected. Dr. Thomas Brown, I fancy, is about the last 
writer of repute that takes much note of him. Brown, 
ore rotundo, does indeed declaim, at considerable length 
too, in Seneca's glib, loose Latin, from his very first 
lecture even to his very last ; but then we must consider 
the temptation, as well of the convenience, it may be, as 
of the ornament. Aulus Gellius assigns to Seneca a 
diction that is only vulgar and trivial, and a judicium 
that is but leve andftitile. He is in place here only in 
consequence of the frequency with which he recurs to 
the idea of God : " Prope a te Deus est, tecum est, intus 
est ; Deus ad homines venit ; immo, quod propius est, in 
homines." That is not badly said, but is it more than 
said ? One reflects on Seneca's laeta paupcrtas of speech 
while in midst of the luxury of fact, and on the con- 
sequent meek self-sacrifice with which he expatiates on 
the posse path divitias ! The elder Pliny is, as his time is, 
quite philosophical in regard to the gods ; but he is 
evidently deeply impressed by the spectacle of the uni- 
verse, of which there can be but one God, he thinks ; who 
is " all sense, all sight, all hearing, all life, all mind, and 
all within himself," and that, in terms at least, is the 
One, Personal, Omniscient, and Omnipotent Deity, whom 
we ourselves think. Tacitus is later than Pliny, and his 
judgment is in uncertainty, he admits, whether the affairs 
of mortals are under the determination of a Providence or 
at the disposal of chance. The chapter, the 22nd of the 
sixth book of the Annals, is a remarkable one. 


What strikes us first in the early Christian writers in 
this reference is the frequency with which they employ 
that argument that is known as the Consensus Gentium. 
Nor is this strange. There came to these pagans with 
Christianity then the awful form of the majestic Jehovah, 
I Am that I Am, whom German and French writers 
have taken of late, degradingly, I suppose, familiarizingly, 
to call Jahve. But under whatever name, He came for 
the first time then to those we call the ancients, as the 
Almighty God of this vast universe, the Creator, Maker, 
Sustainer, and Preserver; the power that is for ever 
present with us, to note and know, to bless or to punish. 
This was the one great mightiness, the mystic, here and 
now present awfulness with whom, to overwhelm, to 
crush, and destroy, the early Christians confronted the 
loose rabble of the polytheistic deities, the abstract null 
of Neo-Platonic emanation, and the gloomy daemons of 
the wildly heretical Gnosis. This was He of whom 
Job spoke, of whom the Psalmist sung, with whose 
wrath the Prophets thunderstruck the sinner. That 
this God was, that this God alone was, there was, on the 
part of the Fathers, a universal appeal, as well to the 
common experience of the nations historically, as to the 
very heart and inmost conscience of the natural man. 
Cicero was quoted in many texts, as that, among men, 
there is no nation so immansucta and so /era as not to 
know that there is a God. This is a truth which seems 
to have been insisted on by all the Fathers, from the first 
to the last. Man, they say, is in his nature endowed by 
the Creator with such capabilities and powers that, as soon 
as he attains to the use of reason, he, of himself, and with- 
out instruction, recognises the truth of a God, and divine 
things, and moral action. That is the true light, which 
lighteth every man that cometh into the world (John i. 9). 
" All know this," says Irenaeus, " that there is one God, 


the Lord of all; for reason, that dwells in the spirit, reveals 
it." Tertnllian has a remarkable work named Be testi- 
monio animae naturaliter Christianae (Of the testimony of 
the soul as naturally Christian), in which there occur 
many striking passages in regard to the testimony of the 
soul itself, as, even from the first, and by mere nature, 
Christian. He calls it " an original testimony, more 
familiar than all writing, more current than all doctrine, 
wider spread than every communication, greater than the 
whole man. . . . The conscience of the soul is from the 
beginning a gift of God," and that there is a God is a 
" teaching of nature silently committed to the conscience, 
that is born with, and born in us." God from the 
beginning laid in man the natural law, says Chrysostom. 
Arnobius asks, " What man is there who has not begun the 
first day of his nativity with this principle ; in whom it 
is not inborn, fixed, almost even impressed upon him, 
implanted in him while still in the bosom of his mother ? " 
" Among all mankind," says Clement of Alexandria, " Greek 
or barbarian, there are none anywhere upon the earth, 
neither of those who wander, nor of those who are settled, 
that are not pre-impressed with the conviction of a supreme 
being. And so it is that every nation, whether in the east, 
or opposite in the west, in the north, or in the south, has 
one and the same belief, from the beginning in the 
sovereignty of Him who has created this world ; the 
very utmost of whose power extends equally everywhere 
within it." " Man cannot divest himself of the idea of 
God," is the averment of Lactantius ; " his spontaneous 
turning to Him in every need, his involuntary exclama- 
tions, prove it : — the truth, on compulsion of nature, bursts 
from his bosom in its own despite." To Cyril of Alexan- 
dria to elSevai deov, the knowing of God, is dSiSafcrov tl 
XPVf ia vol avTOfjLadl<i, an untaught thing, and self-acquired ; 
and he even quotes the Apostate Julian to the effect that 


the proof of this is the fact that " to all mankind, as well 
in public as in private life, to single individuals as to 
entire peoples, the feeling fur divine things is universal; 
for even without teaching we all believe in a Supreme 
Being." Gregory of Nyssa, Eusebius of Caesarea, John of 
Damascus, Jerome — in short, it is the common doctrine 
of the Fathers of the Church and their followers, that 
belief in the existence of God is in man innate ; and, 
among them, Athanasius, in so many words, directly declares 
that for the idea of God "we have no need of anything 
but ourselves." So far, then, I think we may admit that 
we have sufficient illustration of the argument for the 
existence of God — it can hardly be called 'proof- — that 
• l< ■ ] >- n<ls on the common agreement of mankind, nationally 
and individually, and is frequently expressed by the Latin 
brocard: Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ah omnibus. 
It is hardly a proof, as I say; but, as an argument, it has 
its own weight ; and, as Eeid says, " A consent of ages and 
nations, of the learned and the vulgar, ouuht, at least, to 
have great authority, unless we can show some prejudice 
as universal as that consent is, which might be the cause 
of it." And here, of course, the tendency to a belief in the 
supernatural on the part of mankind may be adduced as 
precisely such a prejudice ; but the question remains, is 
not such tendency precisely the innate idea — only, perhaps, 
not always in the highest of its forms ? That, as an 
argument, it should have possessed the full acceptance of 
the Fathers, is only natural; for there in their reading 
it was ever before them : the intense Godwards of the 
Bible as on every page of it. For that, indeed, is it 
estimable: that, to all mankind, is its fascination and its 
irresistible and overpowering charm. I'm, be it as it 
may with the argument from the consensus omnium as 
being the vox naturae, if it was from the Bible that the 
Fathers were led to it, there was about equal reason for 


their being led, by the same authority, to the other 
arguments ; as that from design especially. Why, to that, 
innumerable passages of the grandest inspiration were 
perpetually before their eyes or ringing in their ears. It 
were out of place to quote such passages at any length 
here ; but I may remind you of such exclamations in the 
Psalms, as : " How manifold are Thy works ! in wisdom 
hast Thou made them all : the earth is full of Thy riches : 
who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment ; who 
stretchest out the heavens like a curtain ; who maketh 
the clouds Thy chariot; who walketh upon the wings of 
the wind." "Whereupon are the foundations of the earth 
fastened ? or who laid the corner-stone thereof, when the 
morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God 
shouted for joy ? " With such expressions as these before 
their eyes, as I say, or ringing in their ears, it was im- 
possible but that the Fathers of the Church should think 
of the wonders of the creation. Ferdinand Christian 
Baur points out, as though, indeed, they (these proofs) 
were but beginning then, that in many the usual expres- 
sions of the Fathers, elements may be seen to show 
themselves towards the development of both arguments, 
the cosmological as well as the teleological. And he 
directly quotes, in evidence, passages from Tertullian, 
Irenaeus, Theophilus, Minucius Felix, Athenagoras, Lac- 
tantius, and others. But there are a great many other 
ecclesiastical writers than those mentioned by Baur, who 
give their testimony to the arguments for the existence of 
God. One might quote at great length in this reference, 
but time fails, and I must pass on. 

Though it is perhaps possible to find matter of sugges- 
tion elsewhere, especially in Augustine, I proceed then, at 
once to Anselm of Canterbury as alone responsible for the 
proof that bears his name. This, the ontological proof, as 
it appears in Anselm's own Latin, I translate thus : — 


" That there is in the understanding something good, than 
which a greater cannot be thought — this, when heard, is 
understood; and whatever is understood is in the under- 
standing. But assuredly that than which a greater cannot 
be thought, cannot be in the understanding alone: for if 
that than which no greater can be thought were in the 
understanding alone, then plainly than that (than which a 
greater cannot be thought), a greater can be thought — that, 
namely, which is such also in reality. Beyond doubt there 
exists, then, something, than which a greater cannot be 
thought, both in the understanding and in reality." 

I hold in my hand a little essay of my own, entitled, 
" An estimate of the value of the argument a priori," a 
little optional essay it was, written for, and read in, the 
Moral Philosophy Class, Glasgow University, in the winter 
of 1838. Dr. Fleming, the Ethical Professor at that time, 
was not a man of large culture, either ancient or modern ; 
and with the literature of this present century, chiefly 
poetry and romance as at first it was, he was on the whole, 
perhaps, not specially sympathetic. His literature rather, 
as I think we may say, was Pope and Goldsmith, Hume 
and Kobertson ; Samuel Johnson and Dr. Hugh Blair ; 
and his philosophy, in the main, that of Reid, Stewart, and 
Brown, at the same time that his favourite writer of all, 
perhaps, philosophical or other, was David Hume. Dr. 
Fleming was a very acceptable professor, a man of elo- 
quence, judgment, and taste, and taught well ; but, some- 
how, one did not expect to hear of Anselm at his hands. 
His Student's Manual of Moral Philosophy shows, however, 
that the notice of Anselm was no peculiarity of the one 
session, but belonged, in all probability, more or less, to 
all. In that particular session, the form in which it was 
given to us appears to have been this: "Our notion of 
God is that of a Being than whom nothing can be greater; 
but if His existence be only in our intellect, there is room 


for the existence of a Being greater (by the addition of 
reality) than the One of whom we have the notion that He 
is infinitely great ; which is absurd. God has therefore 
a real existence." That, indeed, comes pretty well to the 
same meaning as what I have translated. The essayist 
remarks of it: "With respect to Anselm's argument, it is 
indisputably a mere sophism, a cunningly-entangled net, 
but still one which it is possible to break through." And 
then he continues : " But, though its nature be such, it may 
not be altogether useless to be able to expose its fallacy. 
Let us try, for example, if we cannot concoct an argument 
in appearance just as conclusive as Anselm's, and yet 
evidently absurd. When Milton attempted to describe 
the Garden of Eden, he attempted to portray the most per- 
fect paradise his mind could conceive. Milton's notion, then, 
of Eden, is that of a garden than which nothing can be more 
perfect ; but if the existence of Eden be only in Milton's 
intellect, there is room for the existence of a garden more 
perfect than that of which Milton has the conception ; 
which is absurd. Milton's Eden has therefore a real 
existence. Again, when Thomson conceived his Castle of 
Indolence, his conception was that of a scene than which 
nothing could be more lazy, languid, and indolent ; but if 
the existence of this scene be confined to his intellect, 
there would be room for a scene still more lazy, languid, 
and indolent (as it might have a real existence) than that 
of which he has the notion; which is absurd. Therefore 
there is a Castle of Indolence." " The fallacy lies in the 
forming the conception of something superlative, and yet 
leaving out one of the notions necessary to render it 
superlative." I cpiote this for the purpose of showing 
that if I now view Anselm's argument somewhat otherwise 
than I did then, it cannot be for any want of the usual 
and reputed common-sense and correct understanding in 
its regard There is no book now, which tells us any- 


thing of Anselm, but tells us as well of Gaunilo or 
Gaunilon. " Gaunilon," says Mr. Lewes, " pointed out the 
fundamental error of Anselm in concluding that whatever 
was true of ideas, must be true of realities." This, indeed, 
Mas so clearly the whole state of the case to Mr. Lewes, 
that that remark appears enough to him, and he does not 
condescend to repeat Anselm's argument at all. Prantl, 
too, seems very much of the same mind as Mr. Lewes. In 
a note he does, indeed, give the argument ; but he adds, 
" and so on in a current, crude confusion of thought and 
being ; " while in the text, he writes of it thus : " It 
exhibits to us only the spectacle of the grossest self- 
contradiction, made possible by the attempt to prove pre- 
cisely subjectively, the most perfect objectivity. But the 
absurdity of the enterprise was quite clearly seen into by 
Gaunilo, who alleged that the proof was equally applicable 
to the existence of an absolutely perfect island." Gaunilo 
was a certain Count de Montigni, who had retired, late in 
life, and disgusted by feudal failures, into the convent of 
Marmoutier, near Tours. Every reader of philosophy 
knows about Gaunilo and his island now. It is certain, 
however, that the essayist who opposed Milton's Eden, 
and Thomson's Castle of Indolence, to the argumentation 
of Anselm, had still many years to wait before he 
should know that there had been any such man as 
Gaunilo. Indeed, I am very much inclined to believe 
that Gaunilo was at that time a perfectly unknown name 
almost to everybody, perhaps to the professor himself. 

Ueberweg seems to be of the same opinion in regard to 
the entire argument of Anselm. " The notion of God," he 
says, " which, in the Monologium, Anselm arrives at 
cosmologically by a logical ascent from the particular to 
the universal, he endeavours to make objectively valid in 
the Proslogium ontologically by mere development of the 
notion, thereby demonstrating the existence of God from 


the simple idea of God ; for he was dissatisfied that, as in 
the method of the Monologium, the proof of the existence 
of the absolute should appear dependent on the existence 
of the relative." As is easy to understand, Ueberweg has 
little favour for the idea of actually extricating real exist- 
ence out of ideal existence, things there without out of 
mere thoughts here within: he sees very clearly the 
absurdity of sacrificing one alleged maximum to another 
alleged maximum because, after all, the allegation is false, 
and what is alleged in the one case is not a maximum. 
His words are : " The absurdity of comparing together two 
entities, one of which shall, not exist, but only be thought, 
while the other shall both be thought and exist, and so 
inferring that this latter, as greatest, must not only exist 
in thought, but also in reality ! " Generally, is Ueberweg's 
perfectly cogent remark here : " Every inference from 
definition is only hypothetically true, with presupposition, 
that is, of the actual existence of the subject." 

There cannot be a doubt, then, of the correctness of 
all these views in their hostility to the argument of 
Anselm. It is hard to believe, however, that any mere 
absurdity, and for nothing but the curiosity of it, should 
have been distinguished beyond all others such by the 
unexampled honour of such enormous reference. Accord- 
ingly, as Erdmann puts it, there is already a turn given to 
it towards a more respectable significance. Alluding to 
the Monologium as preliminary to the Proslogium, and 
to the cosmological result of the former as preliminary 
to the ontological operation of the latter, Erdmann writes 
thus : " The resultant notion of God is now applied by 
Anselm in behoof of the ontological proof for the exist- 
ence of God, which he has developed in his Proslogium, 
the further title of which is Fides quaercns intellectum, 
faith in search of an understanding for itself. Referring 
to the first words of the 14th Psalm, he would prove to 


the fool who says in his heart, There is no God, that he 
contradicts himself. He assumes for this only the single 
presupposition that the denier of ( rod knows what he says, 
and does not give vent to mere meaningless terms. Assum- 
ing him to understand by God that than which nothing 
can be thought greater, and assuming him also to admit 
that to be both in the intellect and in fact, is greater 
than to be in the intellect only, then he must likewise 
admit that God cannot be thought not to BE, and that he 
has therefore only thoughtlessly babbled. And just so 
also is Anselm perfectly in the right when he replied to 
the objection of Gaunilo, in his illustration of the island, 
namely, that what he (Anselm) started from was not 
something that is greater than all, but something than 
which nothing can be thought greater, and that he had 
thereby brought the fool into the necessity of admitting 
either that he thinks God as actually existent, or that 
what he says he does not think." If this account of the 
matter be followed out, I doubt not most people will feel 
inclined to allow Anselm a greater amount of sense than 
in this particular instance he has hitherto got the credit 
of. His reply, in fact, in that sense, is utterly irresistible. 
You say there is no God ; but if you think what you 
say, then God is. If you think God necessarily as that 
than which nothing can be greater, then God is : God is, a 
God thought not to be were no God : give such an import 
to it, then the notion of God were no notion of God. It 
is very probable that Erdmann has touched the very 
kernel of the nut here. Kant does not come into con- 
sideration at present, as his place is among the opponents 
of the proofs, and characterization in his case is still 
distant. As for Hegel, Anselm's argument comes to be 
mentioned by him a great many times, and always with 
the greatest respect. He actually says at page 547 of 
the second volume of his Philosophy of Religion : 


" This argument has been found out only first in Christen- 
dom, by Anselm of Canterbury, namely ; but since then 
it has been brought forward by all other later philoso- 
phers, as Descartes, Leibnitz, Wolff, always, however, with 
the other proofs, though it alone is the true one." This, 
nevertheless, is not, as one knows, the common opinion ; 
as, indeed, I find not badly put in this little old essay 
of fifty years ago, the concluding words of which are 
these : — " Such, then, is our estimate. And we think 
ourselves entitled to conclude, that the value of the a 
priori argument is, in comparison with that of the a 
posteriori, insignificant. It is needless to make use of a 
weak evidence, when we can get a stronger. Why 
should we attempt to read by the light of a candle, when 
we may open our shutters to the sun?" Evidently, 
therefore, it will require us to look at Anselm's argument 
in a very peculiar manner before we shall be able, in 
opposition to the current opinion, to endorse that of 
Hegel. Hegel, in fact, will not satisfy many readers in 
these proofs of his for the existence of God. They seem 
so diffuse, so vague, so indefinite ; even to abound so in 
repetitions, in circumlocutions, in strange clauses out of 
place, or insusceptible of any meaning in their place — 
in short, so confused, dry, colourless, and uninteresting, 
that one wonders if it be possible that there ever was 
found a class of young men able to listen to them. I do 
not suppose it can be denied, indeed, that it is impossible 
to find in all Hegel more slovenly writing than in these 
Beiveisc that constitute pretty well the latter half of the 
second volume of the Lectures on the Philosophy of 
Religion. Words seem thrown down again and again 
just at a venture : as they came they were taken, no 
matter that they looked more or less ineffectual perhaps. 
We seem to have before us, in fact, a marksman who 
has indeed a mark in his view, but who fires at it always 


carelessly, and often almost as though intentionally widely. 
Nevertheless, ever here and there, grains are to be found 
by an eye that shall look long enough and deep enough ; 
and they are not wanting in what concerns Anselni. 

But in the method of Anselni an essential prelim- 
inary to the Proslogium is the Monologium ; the reason- 
ing of which is, in a certain modified way, cosmological. 
The fulcrum of it lies in what the act of predication 
is found to involve. Things similar have a common 
predicate, which common predicate obtains less or more 
according to the individual condition of each. Each, as 
participant, then, in what is common to them all, pre- 
supposes that in which it is participant. What is good 
presupposes the Good ; what great, the Great ; what true, 
the True ; what beautiful, the Beautiful, etc. But all 
things also are : they all participate in Being ; and they, 
therefore, all presuppose Being. Being as Being, highest 
Being, truest Being, best Being, supreme Being, perfect 
Being, absolute Being is the one universal presupposition. 
Relatives only prove an absolute. All that relatively is, only 
is through that which absolutely is — which withdrawn, all 
falls, all disappears. This is the teaching of Augustine 
as well ; and Anselni exclaims, it must be " most certain 
and clear to all who are only willing to see." Further, 
there cannot be a plurality of absolute beings ; for even 
if there were many, they must all participate in a 
common absolute Being, which is, therefore, one and 
single, and alone by itself. " This highest nature," says 
Anselm is "per se ipsam et ex se ipsa: all other things 
are not through themselves, but through it, and not from 
themselves, but from it. . . . Then, since it were wicked- 
ness to think that the substance of the most perfect nature 
is something than which something else were in an}- way 
better, that most perfect substance must itself be." In 
this way, evidently, we have a complete introduction to 


what is regarded as the proper argument of Anselm. 
We have here, that is, completely formed, what that 
argument starts with as the notion of God, the notion, 
namely, of that, than which there cannot possibly be a 
greater. In the Monologium, Anselm puts the case at 
lull length ; but the same strain is to be found in 
Boethius as well as in Augustine. Boethius held, 
namely, that negation as such equally presupposes 
affirmation as such ; and that, consequently, imperfect 
things being, there must of necessity be a highest perfect ; 
and in such wise that the perfection were no mere predi- 
cate, but the very essence, substance, and nature. Anselm, 
then, having made good in the Monologium this notion 
of a most perfect being, as in Augustine and Boethius, 
proceeds somewhat thus in the Proslogium to secure his 
notion reality. " Thinking of my opusculum, the Mono- 
logium," he says, " which I had put forth as an example 
of meditation on the reason of faith, and considering that 
it was made up of a concatenation of many arguments, 
I began to ask myself if it were by chance possible to 
invent a single argument, which to prove itself should 
stand in need of no other, and which alone should suffice, 
etc. etc., I have written this little book which I have named 
Proslogium, that is, alloquium Dei." He then begins his 
book by an actual prayer to God in its reference, and in 
the same way, at the conclusion of his argument, he gives 
" thanks to Thee, because what, by Thy gift, I first believed, 
I now, by Thy illumination, so understand that if I were 
unwilling to believe I should not be able not to perceive." 
In fact, Anselm, it appears, had long anxiety and no rest 
day or night for the thought of proving, by a simple 
argument, that whom we believe, exists, fearing for long 
that it was mere temptation of the devil to propose to 
establish by reason the things of faith, but rejoicing at 
length in his success through the srace of God. We 


cannot but see, then, that this was a most serious matter 
to Anselm, and that he conceived himself in the end to 
have accomplished only what was a true and genuine 
work under the approbation and through the inspiration 
of the Deity Himself. His reply to Gaunilo, indeed, 
makes all this only the plainer ; and it, too, must be 
pronounced in its own way, and in what it aims at, not 
only genuine, but successful. Anselm needed no Gaunilo 
to tell him the difference between ideality and reality. 
His own words are these : " It is one thing, that there 
is something in the intellect and another thing to per- 
ceive that it is. For when a painter prefigures in 
thought the image of what he is to do, he has indeed 
that image already in intellect, but he does not yet per- 
ceive that it really is, because he has not yet made it ; 
but when he has painted it, then he both has in the 
intellect, and perceives as existent, what he has done." 
That Anselm was broad awake, then, to the usual dis- 
tinction, must be held as a matter absolutely beyond 
doubt ; and there can, consequently, be no means of 
saving his intelligence in the matter of his argument, 
but by the supposition that he assumed the distinction 
in question to be plainly inapplicable to God, who was a 
Being, not finite as an island, or a garden, or a castle — 
but infinite. God was no object for the senses, like the 
picture of the painter : God was the infinite substance 
that is of all that is. That, indeed, is the burden of his 
argument. At the same time, it is certain that, as a 
formal syllogism, it is faulty and inadequate. The 
major premiss, in fact, already, by presupposition, con- 
tains within it the whole case. Its subject is that which 
is reallest, that which is most perfect; but that subject 
cannot be reallest or most perfect unless it is. To com- 
pare, a part of the notion with the whole notion cannot 
possibly give the real existence which the notion, by pre- 


supposition, already has. At best, considered as a 
syllogism, it has all the cogency it can have when put as 
Erdmann puts it, who expressly says, " Precisely by the 
quite subjective turn which Anselm gives his proof, is 
its value greater than in the later forms of Wolff and 
others." That word " subjective " here is the merit of 
Erdmann. Anselm is supposed to speak to the fool who 
says in his heart, There is no God, and twits him with 
self-contradiction. When you say God, you name that 
than which nothing can be thought greater : you under- 
stand as much ; but you still say, it has no existence ; 
but if it has not existence,. it is not greatest, and you 
have contradicted yourself. That is the truth of the 
matter, then. To think God — truly to think God, we 
must think Him to exist. Existence is an element in 
the very notion of God ; or with God notion and exist- 
ence are inseparable. Existence is involved in the very 
thought of God — flows and follows from His very nature 
and essence. That is the very idea of God, — viz. that He 
is. We cannot think God, unless we think Him to be. To 
say it is only an idea, contradicts the very idea that it is, 
for that idea is that God is. The idea of what is most 
perfect, of what is reallest, is the idea of God, take that 
idea as a rule, and compare with it what shall be thought, 
but not be, why, plainly, as much as this is not enough ; 
it falls short and fails. Or, to say the same thing 
otherwise, we admit the notion of God, the idea of God, 
to be the highest possible notion, the highest possible 
idea ; but if it is the highest, then it is. Examine our- 
selves as we may, that we find to be our own actual 
subjective condition : our own actual subjective condition 
is precisely that notion, precisely that conviction. The 
syllogism of Anselm, then, is but an explication, an 
analysis of our own state of mind : it is there simply to 
brim? home to us what our own thought amounts to. 


In a word, God is not something that can be thought, and 
yet thought not to be. That is a contradiction — that is 
a contradiction of thought itself ; and that really is the 
thought of Anselm. That is the sublimest thought of 
Descartes also, and that is the very first word of modern 
philosophy — this, namely: God is that whose nature 
cannot be conceived unless as existent : the very notion 
of God includes and implies the being of God : Deus 
causa sui est — God is His own cause. It has been 
objected in blame to Anselm that, as regards the two 
polar elements, Knowledge and Belief, he has given the 
precedency to the latter, to belief ; but we may remind 
ourselves that, " As the earth must be loosened for the 
reception of the seed, so must the heart be softened (by 
Belief) for reception of the truth (in Knowledge)." And, 
really, there is, after all, no harder heart than that of 
your sceptic — no shallower soul than that of him whose 
enlightenment is a sneer. That, as it is the lesson of 
Augustine, so it is the lesson of Anselm, to whom the 
thought of God means the being of God. And with that 
word in our ears, we may well conclude this part of the 

1 "The fallacy lies in the forming the conception of something super- 
lative, and yet leaving out one of the notions necessary to render it 
superlative." These words of the little Essay (p. 1S4), may be interpreted 
as unwittingly telling precisely in the opposite sense. That is, it is the 
"fallacy," we may say, not of Anselm, but precisely of the fool, so to 
leave out ! To say God and unsay existence, is to say and unsay at once. 
If God is a necessary thought, then as sure as His thought is, He is. 
But God is a necessary thought, therefore, etc. 





Lectures by Lord Gifford — By whom edited— Germane to, and illus- 
trative of, natural theology — Number and nature — Their literary 
excellence — Even poetical — Der laute Larm des Tages — On atten- 
tion — On St. Bernard of Clairvaux— (Luther, Gibbon)— What 
Lord Gifford admires — The spirit of religion — The Trinity — 
Emerson, Spinoza— Substance — Brahmanism — Religion — Un- 
derstanding and reason — Metaphysical terms — Materialism — 
Literary enthusiasm — Technical shortcomings— Emerson and 
Carlyle —Social intercourse — Humanity — Liberality and toler- 
ance — Faith — Mesmerism — Ebenezer Elliott — An open sense to 

I beg to express to you, in the first place, the pleasure 
which it gives me to meet once again an assembly like 
the present, in the interest of these lectures on the Lord 
Gifford Bequest. Then, in the reference that seems 
naturally next, as regards an introductory discourse, 
namely, perhaps I may be allowed to say that I might 
excusably hold no such preliminary to be expected from 
me on this occasion, when what we begin is but the half 
of a whole that had abundantly its preparatory explana- 
tions at first. So far one may incline to accept that, 
probably, as a very reasonable view. Still, I know not 
that I can proceed to act on it with any grace, in face of 
the fact of this little book. As one sees, it is a handsome 
little volume ; and it came to me, bound as it is, unex- 
pectedly and with surprise, from Frankfort-on-the-Main. 
It has, somehow, a singularly simple, pure, and taking 
title-page, the words on which are these : " Lectures 
Delivered on Various Occasions by Adam Gifford, one of 


the Senators of the College of Justice, Scotland." This 
title-page is followed by a perfectly correspondent modest 
little note, to the effect, that the lectures concerned are 
" a selection from a miscellaneous number of others given 
from time to time by request, on very various occasions, 
and to greatly differing audiences, the preparation of 
which was a great pleasure to the lecturer," and, if " of 
necessity sometimes hurried, never careless." " They 
were in no case," it is added, " meant for publication, and 
we print a few of them now only for his friends." The 
signatures to that note — the " we " — are Alice Ealeigh 
and Herbert James Gifford ; the one the niece, so long, 
in loving attention, associated with Lord Gifford, and the 
other his son. The lectures themselves, as we see, are 
not to be regarded as published ; and that I should speak 
of them here, consequently, may seem to border on 
impropriety. But, as we see also, they are printed for 
his friends ; and I know not that I speak to others than 
the friends of Lord Gifford when I speak to this audience. 
I am very certain of this, too, that I can adduce nothing 
from these lectures that will not prove admirably illus- 
trative and confirmatory of the express terms in which, 
in the Trust-Disposition and Settlement, directions are 
given with respect to the duties necessarily incumbent on 
the holders of this chair. It is in that light and for 
that light, that, precisely to me at all events, these lectures 
of Lord Gifford's own are very specially welcome. And 
if now, by quotation, comment, or remark, I proceed to 
make as much as that good to you also, I have the hope 
that the result will prove constitutive, as well, of a lecture 
in place, a lecture in just such a course as this is, a 
lecture on the subject of Natural Theology, and a lecture, 
too, even in a way, almost at the very hands of the 
founder himself of this chair itself. There are seven of 
these lectures of Lord Gifford's, and they are respectively 



named as they come: 1. Ralph Waldo Emerson; 2. 
Attention as an Instrument of Self-Culture; 3. Saint 
Bernard of Clairvaux ; 4. Substance: A Metaphysical 
Thought; 5. Law a Schoolmaster, or the Educational 
Function of Jurisprudence; 6. The Ten Avatars of 
Vishnu; and 7. The Two Fountains of Jurisprudence. 
Only two of them, then, so far as the titles would seem 
to suggest, belong to the writer's own profession of law, 
while the rest are literary, philosophical, or even meta- 
physical. Three of them in spirit, and even more or less 
in matter, might not unreasonably be held to have a 
direct bearing on the very subject which it has been his 
will that the four universities of Scotland should be 
bound in perpetuity expressly to discuss. 

What strikes one at first in these lectures, and from 
the very face of them, is the constant vivid writing, the 
literary accomplishment that everywhere obtains in them. 
He says once, for example, " If first principles have not 
been carried out, if on the firm foundations the walls 
have not risen rightly, by truest plummet perpendicular 
towards heaven, and by bedded block parallel to the 
horizon ; then be sure that sooner or later we must begin 
again, for Nature will find out our failure, and with her 
there is no forgiveness." Surely that last is what is usually 
described as a fine thought ; and there is concrete re- 
flection throughout, as well as felicitous phrase. It is in 
the same way that he says once : " The prophet can tell 
his vision, but he cannot give his own anointed eye." 
What we may almost call technical literary balance is 
perpetual with him, as when he says : " Hinduism offers 
culture to the educated and wisdom to the wise, while 
with equal hand she gives superstitions and charms to 
the ignorant and to the foolish ; " or when he holds of 
Emerson that " Many of his essays are refined and 
elevated poems, and some of his poems are really very 


abstruse and difficult essays." Genius "takes its own 
way," he tells us once; "it comes in its own air-borne 
chariot ; it is bound by no forms, tied and swaddled in 
no etiquette of costume. In the rudest garb it enters 
the dress circle or the robed conclave, and white neck- 
cloths and square caps reverently make room for it." 
Similar examples of expression are these : " He (Emerson) 
is not covered over and covered up, swathed and swaddled 
in his learning, like some learned mummies, but he wears 
it like a dress. He possesses it, and not it him. He 
bears it with him like an atmosphere and an aroma, not 
like a burden upon his back. It is used naturally and 
spontaneously. It flows like a fountain or exhales like 
a perfume ; never forced, never artificial, never added for 
show or effect. — Let no one despise learning, true learning, 
the lessons of experience or the words of ancient wisdom, 
but remember that the greenness of earth's latest beauty 
rests on the rocks and the ashes which it took millenniums 
to form." Lord Gifford displays always a like literary 
talent when the occasion calls on him to be descriptive, 
and often then there are tones and accents of even a very 
veritable poesy, as when he says once : " If you will go 
up with me step by step, I think we may hope to reach 
the mount of Transfiguration and almost to see the glory ! 
If you will only give me your strength and strive up- 
wards with me, I think I can almost promise you that, 
even within our hour, we shall enter the white cloud that 
rests upon the summit, and feel the dazzling of the light 
that is ineffable ! " Of the Middle Ages he says : " It 
was a fierce world. No wonder gentle natures were glad 
to quit it ; and when we think of it and realize it, we 
cease to be surprised that dukes and princes, peasants 
and paupers, are ready to leave their luxury or their 
misery and to seek a haven of shelter, where during this 
short life they may say their prayers, and then lie down 


in peace to sleep, in death." " The Middle Ages ! " he 
cries, " what strange scenes and pictures do not the 
words recall ! The fortalice of the half-savage baron and 
the mean huts of his degraded serfs. The proud pomp 
and spiritual power of the haughty churchman, before 
which the strength of kings and the might of feudalism 
were fain to kneel. The chivalry of Europe drained time 
after time to furnish forth the armies of the Crusaders. 
Religious excitements and revivals passing like prairie-fires 
over Europe, and compared with which modern revivals, even 
the wildest, seem but the coldest marsh gleams. Strange 
and terrible diseases and epidemics, and plagues both 
bodily and mental, that mowed down millions as with the 
scythe of destruction. The spotted plague, and the black 
death, and the sweating sickness. The dancing mania, the 
barking mania. The were-wolf and the ghoul. Strange 
mystical schools of philosophy exciting popular admira- 
tion and enthusiasm to us unexampled and inexplicable. 
And below all, the swelling and the heaving of the slow 
but advancing tide, which even yet is bearing us upon 
its crest." In all that, there is no want of effective 
description everywhere ; but, surely, the last sentence is, 
in a way, sublime ! What is loudest in the day, what is 
most visible, what attracts the attention and excites the 
voices of the crowd, is not always to us admirable, is not 
always to us cheering, is not always to us hopeful ; 
oftentimes it is disappointing, dispiriting, disheartening ; 
sometimes it seems degrading, or is even at times sicken- 
ing. And then it is that we are glad to think in the 
strain of that last sentence of Lord Gifford's. That, that 
— on the top — before our eyes — is degrading, beastly, 
disgusting ; but " below all " there is " the swelling and 
the heaving of the slow but advancing tide " that, " bear- 
ing us too on its crest," flows on ever, heedless of the tern- 
poralities of earth, on and on to the perpetuities of heaven. 


Of the seven lectures in the little book, there are 
specially three which are more particularly in our way : 
they are Ealph Waldo Emerson ; Substance : a meta- 
physical thought ; and the Ten Avatars of Vishnu. Of 
the two others which are more or less assonant to the 
interests that engage us, the lecture on Attention as an 
Instrument of Self-culture may be recommended as, in 
the midst of its excellent general advice, containing 
many useful hints for practical service ; while that on 
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, taking moral and religious 
occasion from the peculiarities of the theme, is an inter- 
esting narrative. We may regard it as, to some extent, 
a proof of Lord Giffbrd's glowing sympathy with what- 
ever was heroically moral and religious, that he should 
have given himself so much trouble with, and bestowed so 
much care on, the career of the young man of twenty-two 
who, as he says, " renounced his inheritance and fortune, 
renounced his nobility of birth and every title of dis- 
tinction, and stood penniless and barefoot, a candidate for 
admission at the gate of the monastery of Citeaux." He 
certainly became a great power in Christendom, this 
young man, perhaps the greatest of his time ; but it was 
neither for worldly honours nor for bodily comforts. 
Every preferment was at once rejected by him — him 
whom Luther " holds alone to be much higher than all 
the monks and popes on the entire surface of the earth ; " 
while Gibbon says of him, he " was content till the hour 
of his death with the humble station of abbot of his 
own community." The life in that community, again, 
Lord Gifford depicts to us thus : " They (the monks) 
were aroused every morning at two o'clock by the convent 
bell, and they immediately hastened along the dark, cold 
passages and cloisters to the church, which was lighted 
by a single lamp. After private prayer they engaged in 
the first service of the day, ' matins,' which lasted two 


hours. The next service was ' Lands' which was always 
at daybreak. Lauds was followed almost without inter- 
mission by other religious exercises till about nine, when 
the monks went, without any breakfast other than a cup 
of water, to labour in the fields or in the necessary work 
of the house, and this continued till two o'clock. At two 
o'clock the famished monk was allowed to dine, as it was 
grimly called : and this was the only meal in the twenty- 
four hours. The dinner consisted almost always of a 
pottage made of peas, lentils, or barley, sometimes with 
the addition of a little milk, but oftener not. No 
Cistercian monk under Bernard's rule ever tasted meat, 
fish, butter, grease, or eggs. On this one meal the monk 
had to subsist till the same hour came round another 
day — retiring to his hard pallet about nine o'clock to be 
roused to the same daily round at two o'clock next 
morning." This day's " darg " was worse than a Scotch 
ploughman's yet ; and we are not surprised to hear that 
Bernard was as thin as a skeleton, and that " physicians 
wondered he could live at all." Still we have to see all 
this has a charm for Lord Gifford. " All through these 
frightful austerities," he says, " it is not possible to with- 
hold our tribute of admiration ; here at least is a man 
who believes in the unseen, and acts out his belief un- 
flinchingly." That, then, is what Lord Gifford admires — 
belief in the unseen, and the sacrifice of a life to it. 
But all through these essays, the mood, in the main, is 
not a different one. Lord Gifford, however it be with 
the letter of his creed, is always spiritually religious. 
Religious feeling is his blood ; and his sympathy is with 
the Christian. "Uneventful lives are often the most 
influential," he says; "it is thought, not action, that 
ultimately moves the universe. — The ink in the inkstand 
of a quiet thinker of Kirk Caldy (Adam Smith) now 
floats the commercial navy of the world ; and (to take 


with reverence the highest of all instances) a few spoken 
and unwritten words of a young carpenter of Nazareth, — 
words dropped by the waysides and in the fields of 
Galilee, — have regenerated mankind and given His name, 
• Christianity,' to half the globe." And not here only, 
but elsewhere also, he would seem to testify almost even 
to the life of the very letter that is spoken by the 
Church. Of incarnations, he says : " Ever and again 
man's spirit tells him — ' The gods are come down to us 
in the likeness of men/ in the crowd or in the solitude, 
by night or by day, ever still the heavens are opened, 
the dazzling smites us to the ground, and deep calleth 
unto deep." " God's revelations are not over, are not 
completed. We have not yet heard His last word, we 
shall never do so. We look for His coming still." 
" May we not all unite in the wish, which is the prayer, 
Thy kingdom come ! " "I find the great central doctrine 
of Christianity, that on which all its other doctrines 
turn and revolve as on a pivot, to be an impressive, most 
mighty, and most magnificent Avatar — God manifest in 
the flesh ! " It is in reference to Hindu ideas that Lord 
Gifford is speaking when he is moved to say, " God is 
manifested in the Trinity ! Three essences in one God ! 
Three aspects of the Infinite." And I may stop here 
to remark how deeply philosophical Lord Gifford would 
seem to be in his sense of a doctrine that has proved a 
stumbling - block and a stone of offence, perhaps to 
hundreds and to thousands within the bounds of 
Christendom. If what we can number one, two, three, 
mean, and must mean, three individual things, essentially 
separate and disjunct, then unity in trinity is an ex- 
pression that can have, not possibly, any concrete inter- 
pretation. I have a vague recollection of having read 
somewhere of Carlyle that he once somewhat disparagingly 
illustrated the Trinity by a man, in a gig, drawn by a 


horse. The gig was a unit, the horse was a unit, and the 
man was a unit : how could these three units be different, 
yet the same ; three, yet one ! If this is true of Carlyle, 
I should be very much inclined to hold that, in this 
instance at all events, Lord Gifford was the deeper 
philosopher. Three aspects of one Infinity, says Lord 
Gifford ; while Carlyle refers to three units that are 
palpably quite as many finites. Carlyle, had he wished 
to illustrate an essential trinity, need not have wandered 
out of his own self. That body of his, as he walked 
about, was Carlyle ; and that thinking in his head, as he 
wrote his book, was Carlyle ; and that ego — that I or 
Me — that was one and the same identical ego all through 
his body and all through his thinking, was Carlyle ; and 
body, thinking, and ego were three, at the same time that 
body, thinking, and ego were one : the three were one ! 
Had Carlyle remained within himself, and eschewed the 
sis, he might have found an illustration for the Trinity 
that was, to some extent, essential, and not numerical only. 
There cannot be any doubt that Lord Gifford, for his 
part, at all events, was perfectly open to the distinction, 
and quite beyond the hazard of confounding concretion 
with abstraction. Philosophically he knew that there 
might be three aspects of the one Infinite ; and, as a 
student of the Middle Ages, he was perfectly aware of the 
historical position of the idea ecclesiastically. Lord 
Gifford terms it " a doctrine of our own Church, I mean 
of Christianity, known as the Eternal Procession of the 
Son and of the Holy Ghost from the Father, a doctrine 
which in scholastic times engaged the learning of the 
Church, and helped to clothe the walls of its spacious 
libraries." And perhaps some of us, indeed, may not 
have yet forgotten a precisely similar mention, in our 
course last year, with regard to the early Church, modern 
German philosophy, and the relation of the Son to the 


world. Another casual allusion of last year's may also 
be within our recollection, which was to an apparent 
assonance to pantheism in certain expressions of the 
Bequest. In the religious reference, it is in place to say 
now that some such assonances reappear here in the 
little book that at present claims us. I daresay we are 
not unprepared for this when we consider that one 
lecture is on Ralph Waldo Emerson, another on Sub- 
stance, and a third on what concerns Hinduism. Of 
Emerson, Lord Gifford remarks that he " inclines to the 
higher or subjective pantheism ; but he (Emerson) will 
not limit, and he cannot define. Before all such 
questions he stands uncovered and reverently silent. No 
proud denial, no cynic scoff, no heartless sneer escapes 
him ; and without a theory of the universe he clings to its 
moral meaning." This is certainly well said as regards 
Emerson ; and it certainly names a very admirable 
catholic attitude as regards religion, which attitude, not 
by any means necessarily pantheistic, would do honour to 
any man, Lord Gifford, Emerson, or another. In the 
lecture on Substance, naturally, we are in presence of the 
arch-pantheist, named and described by Lord Gifford as 
" Benedictus de Spinoza, one of the most eminent of the 
philosophers who have treated of substance." Of him, 
one cannot fail to see, on the part of Lord Gifford, an 
even familiar knowledge. If substance was to Spinoza 
God, it is no less divine to Lord Gifford ; for to him 
God is the all-pervading substantiality and the single 
soul that is alone present everywhere. Of animals, he 
says, " Their mainspring is the Eternal, and every wheel 
and every pinion is guided by the Infinite — and there 
can be but one Infinite — this is the root-thought of the 
fetichism of the Indian or of the Hottentot ; and this is 
what the Egyptian felt when he saw sacredness in the 
crocodile, in the ibis, or in the beetle. Said I not " 


(Lord Gifford exclaims) — "said I not that the word 
substance was perhaps the grandest word in any language ? 
There can be none grander. It is the true name of God. 
Do you not feel with me that it is almost profane to 
apply the word Substance to anything short of God ? 
God must be the very substance and essence of the 
human soul. The human soul is neither self-derived nor 
self-subsisting. It did not make itself. It cannot exist 
alone. It is but a manifestation, a phenomenon. It 
would vanish if it had not a substance, and its substance 
is God. But if God be the substance of all forces and 
powers and of all beings, then He must be the 
only substance in the universe or in all possible 
universes. This is the grand truth on which the system 
of Spinoza is founded, and his whole works are simply 
drawing deductions therefrom." These are very trenchant 
expressions ; and their full import cannot be mistaken. 
As a single sample in the Indian pantheistic reference, 
I may quote this : " Whatever Hinduism, or Brahmanism, 
may have latterly or in its bulk become, still in its 
purest and highest essence it was (indeed I think it still 
is, and I am glad to think so) a monism, a monotheism, 
and in one aspect a pantheism of a pure and noble kind. 
Pure Brahmanism knows only one God, indeed only one 
Being, in the universe, in whom all things consist and 

Now, whatever pantheism may be, and however we 
may be disposed to regard it, surely we cannot revolve 
in mind these various deliverances of Lord Gifford's 
without feeling that we can apply to him his own words 
in regard of Emerson : " Emerson," he says, " is not dis- 
tinctively a religious writer ; that is to say, he does not 
profess to teach or to enforce religion, but his tone is 
eminently religious." And then he goes on to say that, 
do as we may, " religion will not be separated from any- 


thing whatever: you cannot produce and you cannot 
maintain a religious vacuum, and if you could, even 
secularism would die in it." That is particularly well 
said, and is surely a great truth. We are too apt, each 
of us, to concentrate ourselves into our own abstractions. 
If we are mathematicians, we will be mathematicians 
only, or, similarly, chemists only, physiologists only, 
botanists only, and so on. Whereas there is a single 
concrete for which all abstractions should unite, to 
which they should all tend, and in which they should 
all terminate. And that is religion, not religion as it is 
a dry bone of divinity, but religion as it is the vital 
breath of humanity. You might as well expect digestion 
in independence of the heart-beat, as foison for humanity, 
or any department of humanity, in independence of 
religion. That is the truth of the matter, and what 
Lord Gifforcl says is the very word for it : Let Secularism, 
once for all, effect its religious vacuum, and Secularism 
itself will die in it ! Man doth not live by bread alone ; 
and neither will humanity advance on the understanding 
only. Above the understanding there is reason. The 
understanding distinguishes, and divides, and makes clear 
the many ; but it is reason that, in vision and in love, 
makes us all one -soul, while only in the element of 
religion does the soul find breath. " There is," says Lord 
Gifforcl — " there is an eternal and unchangeable system 
and scheme of morality and ethics, founded not on the 
will, or on the devices, or in the ingenuity of man, but 
on the nature and essence of the unchangeable God. 
The individual man, Lord GifTord intimates, may worship 
" the phenomenon, the appearance ; but the noumenon, 
the substance " still is, and still is the truth : " it is a 
high strain of Christianity to worship only the eternal, 
the immortal, and the invisible." In these and other 
expressions of Lord Gifford's, we have observed the 


occurrence of terms which are strictly and technically 
philosophical. He opposes, for instance, phenomenon to 
noumenon, and appearance to substance. " Without the 
true doctrine of substance and of cause," he says once, 
" philosophy would be a delusion and religion a dream, 
for true philosophy and true religion must stand or fall 
together;" but of both we are to understand "substance " 
to be " the very foundation-stone." There is a " force 
behind and in all forces," an "energy of all energies." 
" Nature ! 'Tis but the name of an effect. The cause is 
God ! " These and such like expressions occur again 
and again in the little book ; and, " if all this be a part 
of metaphysics," Lord Clifford declares, then "metaphysics 
can be no empty and barren science." Accordingly, we 
rind no sympathy here with the mere materialistic views 
and tendencies of the present day. " There are some 
who say and think " — we may quote by way of example 
— " there are some who say and think that they could 
find in the grey matter of the brain the very essence of 
the soul — to such materialists the proper answer is to 
be found in the truths of ultimate metaphysics. Only 
go deep enough, and the most obstinate materialist may 
be made to see that matter is not all the universe. 
Mind is not the outcome of trembling or rotating 
atoms." — " The substance and essence of a man is 
his reasonable and intelligent soul." — " The substance 
of all forms, of all phenomena, of all manifestations, 
is God." 

I have spoken of literature in connection with Lord 
Gifford; and there are many keen expressions to bear 
out the implication, some already seen — such phrases, 
namely, as "anointed eyes," or "shining countenances;" 
or "to mete with the measure of the upper sanctuary;" 
or decisions "straight as the rays that issue from the 
throne of God;" or his words when he admonishes his 



brothers of the Law, ever, in the first place, to ascend 
and meditate on the " moral heights," whence descending, 
he assures them, " their pleading robes, in the Courts of 
Jurisprudence, will shine with light as from the Mount 
of Transfiguration." I have spoken also of philosophy 
in connection with Lord Gifford, and certainly we have 
seen much that is not alone an acknowledgment of 
philosophy, but is itself philosophy. Still it is not to be 
understood that I would wish to represent Lord Gifford, 
whether in literature or philosophy, as precisely pro- 
fessional. For both he has splendid endowments: in 
both he has splendid accomplishments. One almost 
fancies that it was as a literary man he began — witness, 
as he expresses it, the " fresh and startled admiration," 
the " overflowing enthusiasm " with which he read 
Emerson. " That enthusiasm," he exclaims, " ladies and 
gentlemen, / still feel. I rejoice to think that my early 
admiration was not misplaced. Time with his ruthless 
mace has shattered many idols of a fond but false 
worship. But let us thank God if we were not wholly 
idolators, if any of our youthful delights are delightful 
still, if some of the morning colours are unfaded, and 
part of its fine gold undimmed." To doubt or deny the 
full liberty of the guild in the teeth of such expressions 
as these, which syllable the very vernacular of the pre- 
cincts, trenches very closely on the mere invidious, and 
pretty well reduces to foolishness what laudation we 
have already expended. Still, with all natural endow- 
ment and all acquired accomplishment, we fancy we 
catch, here and there, a note at times that betrays the 
Gentile, the Ephraimite, the visitant, rather than the 
brother. Lord Gifford tells us once, for example, " of 
sleight-of-hand, of cheiromancy, as it is called ; " or, again, 
we hear of Henry VI., " that drum-and-trumpet thing," 
which Shakespeare had, probably, little to do with, as 


being yet a "whole; drama grandly original!" We saw, 
some time ago, too, the phrase, " the higher or subjective 
pantheism." Knowing that it is from his perusal of 
Spinoza thai Lord Gifford has derived his idea of pan- 
theism, one has difficulty in associating "subjective" with 
it. One thinks that a subjective pantheism would be, 
properly, theism, and not pantheism at all; at the same 
time that one knows withal that there is no more 
familiar commonplace in philosophy, than the fact thai 
what the system of Spinoza lacks is precisely subjectivity. 
Familiar acquaintance with, is not, in truth, exactly 
technical knowledge of, Spinoza. "We are accustomed to 
this. Statements of theories by admirers of their authors, 
which said authors would, it may be, have been some- 
what gratefully perplexed with ; finding in them, perhaps, 
such partial accentuations or partial extensions, as, with 
similar partial limitations or omissions, made their own 
work (so called) strange to them. Such will not prove to 
readers by any means an uncommon experience. In the 
immediate reference, we can certainly say this, that the 
God of Lord Gifford, much as he venerates substance, is 
only very questionably the God of Spinoza, and that 
Lord Gifford, had he been familiar with what we may 
call the accepted statistical or historical return of 
Spinoza, would have written of him from considerably 
different findings. 

But "subjective" is not only objectionably associated 
.with pantheism by Lord Gifford, we see also a similar 
association of it on his part with the word "higher." 
'•'The higher or subjective pantheism," it is said. Hut, 
philosophically, — of any philosophical system, that is, — 
the association of "higher" with "subjective" is an 
association that, more than any other, perhaps, in these 
days, grates. It is the objective idealism, tor example, 
that, to all metaphysical ambition,, is the higher, and not 


the subjective. To Professor Ferrier it was little short 
of a personal insult to call Ms idealism subjective ! 

Another point in this connection is that Lord Gifford 
signalizes, and dwells very specially on the " learning " 
of Emerson. Now, I do not think that any one, formally 
and fairly a member of the guild, however much he 
might admire Mr. Emerson, would feel prompted to call 
him learned — if learned, that is, means erudite, technically 
and scholastically erudite. Miscellaneously, no doubt, 
Mr. Emerson was an excellent reader. He read many 
books, and he meditated on them. But he also walked 
in the woods, and meditated there. What he read, too, 
was mostly in English. He tells us himself he never 
read an alien original if he could at all compass a trans- 
lation of it. Mr. Emerson nowise suggests himself to 
us in his books as a professed expert in languages, 
whether ancient or modern. Neither are we apt to 
think of him as a student, properly, of the sciences, or 
of any science. Even of philosophy, so to speak, he was 
no entered student, — into what deeps and distances so- 
ever, and by what means soever, his intellectual curiosity 
may have relatively carried him ! 

Further, in regard to learning, when I am told by Lord 
Gifford this : " He (Mr. Emerson) has edited Greek plays 
— he has edited several Greek standard authors ! " I 
confess I am astonished at my own ignorance ! (He did 
write a preface to a translation of Plutarch's Morals.) 

This is to be said in the end, however : That, with 
whatever discount, Lord Gifford is literary and philo- 
sophical, even as Mr. Emerson was literary and philo- 
sophical. In fact, in reading these lectures of Lord 
Gifford's, we are constantly reminded of Emerson. Lord 
Gifford would seem to have remained so persistently by 
Emerson, that we may be pardoned if we conceive him 
to have fallen, at times, into Emerson's very attitude, and 


almost taken on Emerson's very shape. Again and again 
in Lord Gifford it is as though we heard the very words 
of Emerson, and in their own peculiarity of cadence, 
rhythm, or even music. Lord Clifford, at one time, must 
have been inflamed for Carlyle. Nevertheless, he has 
dwelt so long in mildness at the side of Emerson that 
the passionate voice of Carlyle, at the last, hurts him. 
So it is that he says, " In Emerson is no savage and 
vindictive hatred ; no yells for the extermination of the 
wicked and of folly." We see thus that gentleness is 
more to Lord Gifford than force. That, in fact, is the 
grain of his character ; and it comes out again and again 
in this little book. How he rejoices that intercourse with 
his fellows, for example, and the friction of a formed 
society had, as regards himself, made " an humbler and 
more modest man of him than he had been before." A 
test that of the' amount and quality of the original sub- 
stance ; for it is precisely such a situation and precisely 
such influences that make the shallow man shallower. 
It is characteristic of this sound humanity in Lord 
Gifford that he would have us " regard our neighbour's 
joy and sorrow," even " his wealth and rank," " in pre- 
cisely the same way as if they were our own." That is an 
admirable touch, the wealth and rank ! It is a fact that 
the man who looks through the palings need not envy 
the man on the other side of them. The scenery, the 
woods, the hills, the stately architecture, are as much his 
as they are their owner's, and in a free transparency of 
mind unsmutched by a single care. " Every sky," says 
Lord Gifford, and there is his heart's love to nature in 
the word, " gleams, morning and evening, with loveliness 
upon us, if we but lift our eye to it, even from the city 
lanes!' So it is that his fellow is the core always of 
the thought of Lord Gifford. He rejoices in " the pro- 
phecy of the future," " in every high and holy aspiration," 


and sympathizes " in every effort to elevate the character 
and improve the condition of man." Lord Gifford is 
himself (in a slightly different sense) manly withal. " I 
am here to-night," he says to his audience on one occa- 
sion, " freely and frankly to talk with you, man to man, 
as friend with friend ; " and there is even humour in him. 
" An old Scottish lawyer," he remarks, " quaintly said, 
' You cannot 'poind for charity,' and so you cannot, by 
any form of diligence, compel kindness, or consideration, 
or courtesy." As is only to be expected, a wise, an open, 
and a liberal tolerance is another characteristic of the 
humanity of Lord Gifford. He will not have us forget 
that " The Church was the last bulwark of humanity in 
the Dark Ages," that " the Church, and the Church alone, 
was the home of learning and the guardian of letters," 
and that she took always " the poor and forsaken to her 
bosom." " To the everlasting praise of the Catholic 
Church be it said," he cries, " she never knew any 
difference between rich and poor, between the nobly born 
and the lowly born, but welcomed all alike to her loving 
though somewhat rigid arms : to her every one horn at 
all was well born." Yet it is with comment on the 
bigotry and persecutions of this same Church and of his 
favourite St. Bernard that he says, " Truth passes like 
morning from land to land, and those who have sat all 
night by the candle of tradition cannot exclude the light 
which streams through every crevice of window or of 
wall." It gladdens him, even in the same mood of 
enlightenment, to see " some old prejudice given way, 
some new view got of the perfect and the fair." That 
is enlightenment akin to the Aufklarung, to the en- 
lightenment of name, which, of course, is good so far as 
it is enlightened ; but here is the substantial enlighten- 
ment. " A few words now," says Lord Gifford, " on the 
miracles of Saint Bernard. For [in strong italics] he did 


work miracles — attested by scores of eye-witnesses, whose 
testimony nothing but judicial blindness can withstand." 
How explain them? "The Talisman is [in small capitals] 
Faith ! " "All things are possible to him that belie veth ! " 
But then, adds Lord Gifford : All " is closely connected 
with the modern phenomena of mesmerism," etc. It is, 
perhaps, too late in the day for any one to dispute or 
deny certain contraventions of the usual on the part of 
mesmerism ; but this was not so at first. The ordinary 
routine of common sense, which alone was philosophy to 
the Aufgeklarter, the man of enlightenment then, — in his 
freedom from prejudice and his hatred of the lie, — the 
ordinary routine of common sense could not be said to 
be interrupted without a pang to the heart of this 
Aufgeklarter in the beginning, at the stupidity of the 
vulgar, caught ever by some new trick ! It is told of 
Ebenezer Elliott, the Corn Law Rhymer, — a warm-hearted, 
honest, able, perfectly admirable man in his day, but still 
something of that day's Philistine, or something of that 
day's Aufgeklarter, — that he was loud in his denuncia- 
tions of mesmerism as mere " collusion and quackery," but 
that he unwarily undertook to stake the question on trial 
of himself. " Accordingly the poet," says the narrator and 
the operator, a man whom I personally knew, " sat down 
in his chair, and the moment my hand came in contact 
with his head, he shrunk as if struck by a voltaic pile, 
uttered a deep sigh, fell back upon his chair, and all con- 
sciousness fled from him." We are not surprised to 
hear, nevertheless, that the poet (Elliott himself), alone 
of the whole company, remained unconvinced : he only 
" rubbed his eyes," and " would have it that he had 
fallen asleep from exhaustion." Lord Gifford, then, has 
still the substantial enlightenment that is open to all 
evidence, and will not reject, because of physical facts, 
others which happen to be psychical. 


And with this I will conclude the picture, trusting 
that you will find it only natural and sufficiently in place 
that, with this little book before me — and the informa- 
tion it extended — I conceived an introductory lecture on 
the Founder of this Chair only my duty, and the rather 
that it necessarily involved much of the matter of Natural 


A settlement for faith Lord Gifford's object — Of our single theme 
the negative half now— Objections to, or refutations of, the 
proofs — Negative not necessarily or predominatingly modern, 
Kant, Darwin — The ancient negative, the Greeks, Pythagoreans, 
Ionics, Eleatics, Heraclitus, Empedocles, Democritus, (Bacon), 
Anaxagoras, Socrates, Sophists, Diagoras, Aristotle, Aristoxenus, 
Dicaearchus, Strato, (Hume, Cudworth), Aristophanes, etc., — 
Rome — Modern Europe, France, Hume and the seventeen 
atheists — Epochs of atheism — David Hume, his influence — To 
many a passion and a prejudice — Brougham, Buckle— Style ! — 
Taste ! — Blair — Hume's taste, Pope, Shakespeare, John Home 
— Othello — The French to Hume — Mr. Pope ! — Some bygone 
litterateurs — Personality and character of Hume — Jokes, 
stories, Kant, Aristotle — The Scotch — The Epigoniad — America 
— Germany — Generosity, affection, friendship, hospitality — 
Smollett — Burke — but Hume, honest, genuine, and even re- 
ligious and pious. 

We must now address ourselves to the business proper 
of the course. I think our shortest statement of the 
general object of Lord Clifford at any time during last 
session was this : " Faith, belief, — the production of a 
living principle that, giving us God in the heart, should, 
in this world of ours, guide us in peace." I probably did 
enough then, by way of general explanation and illustra- 
tive detail, to enforce and give its own due proportions to 
this object and this theme, constitutive, as I take it of 
the entire burden of the bequest itself. But, had I failed 
in this, had my statemenl of that object — had my repre- 
sentation of the spirit of Lord Gifford in setting up the 
exposition of that object as the single and sole duty of a 


special chair — had statement and representation been 
insufficient and incomplete, we should have had to 
acknowledge ample compensation and satisfactory relief 
in what we saw, in our last lecture, of expressions of 
Lord Gifford's own. Be the language of the Bequest 
what it may, that little book, with its seven lectures, as 
we may say, on law, ethics, and religion, presents us with 
the full length Lord Gifford, and dispenses us from any 
relative doubt. 

Further, then, now, as regards our treatment of the 
theme prescribed to us. I also explained last session 
that I took the theme itself precisely as it ivas prescribed. 
That theme, I said, is " Natural Theology and the proofs 
for the Being of a God. These proofs I follow historic- 
ally, while the reflection at the same time that we have 
still before us what Lord Gifford calls the only science, 
the science of infinite being, may bring with it a certain 
(complementary) breadth and filling." " This is one half 
of my enterprise. The other half, the negative half, 
shall concern the denial of the proofs. This session 
(I said then), I confine myself to the affirmative. Next 
session, I shall conclude with what concerns the negative. 
In this way we shall have two correspondent and comple- 
mentary halves : one irenical, and the other polemical ; 
one with the ancients, and the other with the moderns. 
For I shall bring the affirmative half historically down 
only " — only, in fact, to within sight again of liaymund 
of Sabunde. 

We have to understand, therefore, that we have now 
seen the affirmative of our whole theme — the rise, namely, 
and progress of the proofs or arguments for the being of 
God as they are thetically presentant in history ; and 
what remains for us at present is the exposition and 
discussion of the negative. We have to see, that is, what 
objections or refutations have been brought forward in 


regard of the proofs ; and we have to consider as well 
what weight attaches to these objections, or what cogency 
follows these refutations. It appears also that we are 
now to find ourselves only in the modern world. This 
does not mean, however, that we are to regard the 
modern world as only negative in respect of the being 
of a God, and never affirmative. That would be a 
singular result of monotheism, universal now, as opposed 
to polytheism, all but universal then. The reverse is the 
truth. Up to within a score of years or so we may say 
that modern writers on religion, while countless in num- 
bers, were, with but few exec] it inns, affirmative to a man. 
And this we feel we can hold to in spite of Kant and his 
Kritih of 1781 ; for Kant, whatever his negative may he, 
has his own affirmative at last. It is only since Mr. 
Darwin that, as the phrase goes, atheism has set in like a 
flood. It was not, then, because of relative numbers 
that we made the ancients affirmative and the moderns 
negative in regard to the belief in a God. The principle 
of determination did not lie there at all. What alone 
was considered in the laying out of our theme was the 
historical course and fortune of the proofs themselves. 

And if the modern world is not for a moment to be 
considered exclusively or predominatingly negative ; so 
neither is the ancient world to be any more considered 
exclusively or predominantly affirmative. There were 
atheists then quite as well as now. I suppose, indeed, 
to the bulk of the Grecian public, every philosopher 
before Socrates was an atheist, not even excepting the 
Pythagoreans. Thales and the other Ionics are, as 
Hylozoists, nothing but atheists; while to call the 
Eleatics and Heraclitus pantheists is tantamount, for all 
that, to an admission, as their doctrines were, that they 
were atheists. Empedocles was no better. Democritus 
could point to the superhuman powers he believed in, as 


it were in the air ; but still a nature built up by atoms 
was his G-od, no matter that, as Bacon maintains, the 
atoms of the atomists were so very immaterial that an 
actual atom no one had ever seen — no one ever could see. 
Then Anaxagoras with the principal Sophists, even Socrates 
himself, had been publicly arraigned as atheists. Diagoras, 
in the time of Aristotle, became an atheist in consequence 
of a real or supposed wrong unretributed by the gods, 
and was known and named, and is still familiar to us in 
our books, as Diagoras the atheist. Aristotle himself 
hardly escaped a similar imputation ; which, besides, his 
own school in the end would only have justified ; for 
almost every member of it, at least in the second genera- 
tion, gave more and more breadth to what naturalistic 
doctrine had taken birth in it. Aristoxenus, for example, 
held that " the soul was but a certain tension or intension 
of the body itself, like what is called music on the part 
of strung cords ; " while Dicaearchus, another Aristotelian, 
declared the soul to be " only an idle name and nothing 
but the body, which, one, single and simple, acts and feels 
by organization of nature." Later than these, too, there 
was, above all, Strato, surnamed Physicus, and physicus 
is really equivalent to materialist or atheist, not but that 
two of our modern authorities in this reference differ, 
Hume declaring " Strato's atheism the most dangerous of 
the ancient," and Cudworth maintaining atheism at all to 
be no necessity of the position ; a view, however, to which 
he has been simply won over by persuading himself that 
what unconscious spontaneity Strato ascribes to matter 
is no more than his own " plastic nature," and only saves 
God, as is the very intention of that plastic nature, from 
any derogation of direct intromission with the inquination 
of sense. But Cudworth's view is no more the view of 
the ancients than it is that of Hume ; for if we look to 
Cicero and Plutarch alone, we shall be satisfied that 


Strato had no God or principle of design in his belief, but 
referred all in nature to mere mechanical movement, to 
accident and chance. Strato, according to Diogenes 
Laertius, became so thin in the end that he slipped away 
into death quite insensibly — truly a tcnuitas mira,Q& is 
the Latin of it ! 

It is evident from all this that a negative in regard to 
the existence of God is by no means to be conceived as- 
confined to the modern world. Among the Greeks, at 
all events, in the ancient world it existed in an undeni- 
able plenitude. Nor is the reason of this remote or 
hidden from us. Polytheism was dying out; the popular 
religion had ceased to be believed in. And Aristophanes, 
who was even intolerant and a bigot in his tenacity for 
the old, is as much a proof of the fact as the very 
Diagoras to whose atheism he alludes, and whom, as 
proclaimed by law, he names. Nothing can exceed the 
derogatory familiarity of tone with which, at all times, 
he treats the very gods in whom he would believe, and on 
whom he would depend. After Pericles, indeed, irreligion 
and atheism become in Greece rampant ; nor there alone. 
Later, it is a like manifestation we witness in Pome on 
the fall of the republic. And, later still, we have similar 
characteristics in Europe, especially France, before the 
outbreak of the revolution. David Hume, who, in his 
inmost soul thought nothing greater than a named writer 
— David Hume, in Paris, to his own admiration, sitting- 
radiant, at table, among the foremost bookmen in the 
whole world then, could not help letting slip his innocent 
belief that there were no such things as atheists, that he 
had never met any — how he must have been astounded 
at the reply — that he must have been very unfortunate 
so long, for he was at that moment in the midst of 
seventeen of them ! 

Whether in Greece or in Rome, then, whether in the 


ancient or the modern world, there are epochs of atheism, 
; u id always from similar causes. In Greece, as I have 
said, the popular religion had, among many, ceased to be 
believed in ; and with religious disbelief, political and 
social corruption went hand in hand. Even Sparta, 
which was the manly heart of Greece, under such influ- 
ences, fell away into individual greed and personal 
selfishness. The spot of earth from which Leonidas and 
his three hundred marched to their deaths is hardly 
known now. As it was in Greece, so was it in Rome, 
in modern Europe, France — religious disbelief, political 
equivocation, social laxity, portend historical ruin. With 
all that can be said, however, of irreligion in ancient as 
well as in modern times, it is still specially to these 
latter that we turn for our negative ; and for the reason 
that in them only is it first fairly formulated to our present 
ideas. The same reason leads us to begin with Hume. 

David Hume stands out historically as one of the most 
interesting and influential figures of modern times. In 
the philosophical reference, he constitutes for the various 
views a veritable rendezvous, a veritable meeting-place, 
if only variously, for the start apart again. He is a 
knot - point, as it were a ganglion in philosophy, into 
which all converge, from which all diverge into the wide 
historical radiation that even now is. Scotch philo- 
sophy, and French philosophy, and German philosophy, 
all are in connection with him. Under the teaching 
especially of John Stuart Mill, he is at this moment 
English philosophy. From him come Adam Smith, and 
Eicardo, and whatever their names involve. Hume is 
the guide of the politician ; through the economists he 
is the spirit of our trade and commerce, and I know not 
but, in what are called advanced vicics, he lies at this 
moment very near even the heart of the Church. At 
all events, he is to the mass of the enlightened, the Auf- 

STYLE. 223 

geklart, their high priest still; his books are their Bible. 
It is really surprising to how many Hume is, or has 
been, a passion and a prejudice almost in their very 
hearts. Ymi will find articles in the Reviews, especially 
of some years back, — in the Westminster perhaps,— that 
talk with baited breath of Hume as though lie were 
divine. I recollect of one in particular that, engaged 
in running down Ceorge IV., compared that mon- 
archical imposition with sundry celebrities near his own 
time, and ended with a reference in that sense to Hume, 
a reference that seemed simply List in its mockin^ feel- 
ing of an utter contrast. The article, indeed, might have 
been written by Lord Brougham himself, who, from what 
we know, alone of all mankind, possibly could have con- 
joined the worship of Hume with the application of as 
miuh in reduction of Gentleman George. Mill, and 
Mackintosh, and Macaulay, and William Gifford, and 
Francis Jeffrey, were all intense admirers of Hume ; but 
I question if any one of them would not have felt lost 
in his wits for a moment at so grotesque and absurd a 
proposition as the bringing together of two such dis- 
parates! I know only one man since Brougham who 
could have united with him as well in the prostration of 
the worship as in the loftiness of the parallel. It is 
possible to find no pair or peer to Lord Brougham here 
but Thomas Henry Buckle. 1 do believe he. too, in his 
big way, might have thought it apt — might have risen 
into the moral sublime even — indignantly to remark on 
the mockery and degradation in the comparison of 
George IV. with Hume! 

But, further, of this prejudice or passion for David 
Hume, it used to be a common experience to find 
enthusiastic examples of it, not only among the specially 
learned, but even among those of our men of business 
who knew what a book was. Sir Daniel Sandford. in 


certain Dissertations of his, at one time popularly pub- 
lishing in parts, spoke of " the spotless style of Hume ; " 
and just for the word, many scores of delighted Auf- 
gehldrters would have been ready to die for him (Sand- 
ford). Style, in fact, was for long, and very much owing 
to David, the single thought that was present to every 
man the moment he took a book in hand. Addison's 
style was, of course, the ne plus ultra. But there was 
the delightful style of Goldsmith, too, and the excellent 
style of Eobertson. There were the stilts of Johnson, 
and the wood of Adam Smith. There was the easy, lax, 
complacent style of Fielding, and the pointed style of 
Smollett. There was the finical style of Blair, and the 
measured style of Gibbon — but, oh, the style of Hume, 
" the spotless style of Hume ! " And so style was the 
one consideration : style was the watchword. We read 
for the style, and it was by the style we judged. We 
were not at all exigent about the matter, if the form, the 
style, the words but — as we said, indeed — -flowed. That 
flow was enough for us, provided, as the master insisted, 
it were but " smooth " enough, " harmonious " enough, 
" correct " enough, " perspicuous " enough. It was to 
enjoy that flow mainly that, business apart, we took up 
a book at all. Of course we expected some matter in a 
book, something of information, say. Still, if with that, 
with something pleasing, that ran along in the telling, 
there was but style — style and the certainty of the 
writer's enlightenment — we somght for nothing more. We 
sought for nothing more — that is, as pupils of Hume — 
than pleasing information, antireligious enlightenment, 
and literary style, And I should just like to ask Mr. 
Huxley if, with his will, there should be anything else 
than that still. 

It is in this way we see how much, in the time of 
Hume, and after him, depended on taste. Almost it 


seemed as though, did we but cultivate taste, the world 
would be well. But what taste was it that was to be 
cultivated ? There are certain formal essays of Hume, 
there are certain little propos of Hume, scattered every- 
where, that can leave us no difficulty in that regard. 
And were there any difficulty, there is Dr. Hugh Blair 
with his Lectures on Rhetoric and the Belles Lettres, 
to settle it. Dr. Hugh Blair is a kind of henchman to 
Hume ; and he has formally set himself to the business 
of formally teaching the principles of Hume, and even of 
formally representing them, — I mean on Taste, leaving 
his clerical principles completely under shelter. To that 
latter effect, indeed, Blair can produce a certificate under 
the hand of even Hume himself. " This city," * meaning 
Edinburgh, says Hume, "can justly boast of other signal 
characters, whom learning and piety, taste and devotion, 
philosophy and faith, joined to the severest morals and 
most irreproachable conduct, concur to embellish. One 
in particular, with the same hand by which he turns 
over the sublime pages of Homer and Virgil, Demos- 
thenes and Cicero, is not ashamed to open with reverence 
the sacred volumes ; and with the same voice by which, 
from the pulpit, he strikes vice with consternation, he 
deigns to dictate to his pupils the most useful lessons of 
rhetoric, poetry, and polite literature." This, as we see, 
is prettily comprehensive ; and Hume must have plumed 
himself on his success in having touched up in it a 
sufficiently good character for Dr. Blair — even of a 
Sunday. But still, I doubt not, " polite literature " 
forms the keynote in the combination to Hume. Polite 
literature, taste : it is probable that David Hume, super- 
stition apart, thought of nothing more constantly. I do 
not know, however, that we now-a-days would quite 
approve of what was to him polite literature, of what 

1 Burton, ii. 470. 


to him was taste. In these respects Hume, like most 
of his contemporaries in truth, was completely French. 
Polish was the word ; human nature in the raw was 
simply barbarous : beards were remnants from the woods 
— and even the hair on our heads was a growth. We 
could not be shaved close enough, and wigs were indis- 
pensable ; wigs were civilisation — wigs and ruffles ! So, 
the words from our lips, from our pens, would be smooth, 
correct, perspicuous. This was the very proper way in 
which Hume felt. He was, in a literary regard, not 
what we call a Philistine, a man of the outside, who 
knows prose only, but what the Germans call a PMlister, 
a narrowly fastidious, airily-refined formalist. To him 
Mr. Pope, as a poet, had carried polish to its uttermost 
limit, and Shakespeare was a barbarian. Apropos of 
Mr. John Home and his tragedy of Agis (how many of 
us know that there was ever any such tragedy in exist- 
ence ; for practically it is very certainly out of existence 
now ?) — of this Agis, Hume writes from Ninewells, on 
the 18th of February 1751 : " 'Tis very likely to meet 
with success, and not to deserve it ; for the author tells 
me he is a great admirer of Shakespeare, and never read 
Eacine ! " Some three or four years later he writes 
again : " As you are a lover of letters, I shall inform you 
of a piece of news, which will be agreeable to you — We 
may hope to see good tragedies in the English language. A 
young man called Hume (Home was so pronounced then), 
a clergyman of this country, discovers a very fine genius 
for that species of composition. Some years ago he 
wrote a tragedy called Agis, which some of the best 
judges, such as the Duke of Argyle, Sir George Lyttleton, 
Mr. Pitt, very much approved of. I own, though I 
could perceive fine strokes in that tragedy, I never could 
in general bring myself to like it ; the author, I thought, 
had corrupted his taste by the imitation of Shakespeare. 


But the same author lias composed a new tragedy 
(Douglas); and here he appears a true disciple of Sophocles 
and Eacine. I hope in time he will vindicate the Eng- 
lish stage from the reproach of barbarism " (Burton, i. 
392). Then, some three years later still, he writes to 
Adam Smith : " I can now give you the satisfaction 
of hearing that the play (Douglas), though not near so 
well acted in Covent Garden as in this place, is likely 
to be very successful. Its great intrinsic merit breaks 
through all obstacles. When it shall be printed, I am 
persuaded it will be esteemed the best and, by French 
critics, the only tragedy of our language." The letter 
winds up with — "I have just now received a copy of 
Douglas from London ; it will instantly be put in the 
press" (Burton, ii. 17). No doubt, many contradictions 
and absurdities that have happened in this world may 
well be wondered at ; but surely a greater contradiction 
and absurdity than this at the hands of Hume — precisely 
the one man in this world who was well assured that it 
was perfectly impossible for him (above all, in any such 
matters) to commit or perpetuate any such thing as a 
contradiction and absurdity — surely, just this, for all 
that, is the very greatest contradiction and absurdity that 
ever was wondered at, or that ever can be wondered at. 
When we examine the volume, or volumes, called Essays 
of Hume, we shall find that of the thirty-seven dramatic 
pieces commonly printed as Shakespeare's, only three 
ever occur to be referred to there. They are Pericles, 
Othello, and Julius Caesar; and of these the second is 
actually mentioned twice. In the essay " Of Tragedy " 
Hume moralizes in this way : " Had you any intention to 
move a person extremely by the narration of any event, 
the best method of increasing its effect would be artfully 
to delay informing him of it, and first excite his curiosity 
and impatience before you let him into the secret. This 


is the artifice practised by Iago in the famous scene 
of Shakespeare ; and every spectator is sensible that 
Othello's jealousy acquires additional force from his 
preceding impatience, and that the subordinate passion is 
here readily transformed into the predominant." In the 
essay named " Of the Eise and Progress of the Arts 
and Sciences," again,, near its close, remarking on the 
encouragement given to young authors in their first 
attempts, as leading in the end to their later mature and 
perfect ones, Hume declares, " The ignorance of the age 
alone could have given admission to the Prince of 
Tyre ; but 'tis to that we owe ' the Moor.' " Besides 
four lines quoted from Julius Caesar without direct 
name, that is all that I find of any reference to Shake- 
speare in the whole of Hume's Essays. Of the doubts 
subsequently thrown on the amount of Shakespeare's 
authorship in the Prince of Tyre, Hume, of course, 
could know nothing : what alone he had in mind when 
he wrote, probably, was the line from Dryden, " Shake- 
speare's own muse his Pericles first bore." Inferential!/, 
then, we have, on the part of Hume, so far gratitude to 
Shakespeare, and the praise of maturity to the Othello. 
Shakespeare, too, must be allowed to be indebted to 
Hume for a certain amount of approbation in regard to 
what is called his " famous scene." Hume says " the 
famous scene of Shakespeare," as though, of all the scenes 
of Shakespeare, it was the " famous " one ; and we have 
thus, and generally, on his part testimony to the great 
popularity of Shakespeare even in his day. Of course it 
is utterly impossible to say too much of the scene in 
question ; but I know not that in all we say it is still 
the praise of " artfulness " that we must alone mean. 
Artfulness there is — on the part of Iago enormous artful- 
ness ; and impatience that what is hinted at be got to, 
must be conceded, as at least one element in that 


appalling convulsion of all terrific elements that is then 
the mind, and alone the mind, of the perfectly colossal 
Othello. "What we have before us are not the mere 
miseries and suspicions in the awakening of a small 
human thing called jealousy. What we have before us 
are the throes of a volcano — the confusion, anguish, and 
bewilderment of a vast nature, a gigantic soul, that in 
itself was too mighty, too grand and great ever to have a 
doubt — of one, as it is said, " not easily jealous, but 
being wrought, perplexed in the extreme ! " It is the 
perplexity of this great nature that we are to see, and 
not the puling pains of a predominant jealousy only 
philosophically increased by the artful excitation of a 
subordinate and preceding impatience. In fact, what we 
are to wonder at is not art, but the marvellous nature, 
which alone we are to see breathing, living, moving 
throughout the scene. 

As for the four lines from Julius Caesar, they occur in 
section 7 of the Enquiry concerning the Principles of 
Morals : " Few men would envy," says Hume there, 
" the character which Caesar gives of Cassius — 

" He loves no plays, 
As thou dost, Antony ; lie hears no music : 
Seldom he smiles ; and smiles in such a sort, 
As if he mocked himself, and scorned his spirit 
That could he moved to smile at anything." 

Now, is it not monstrous that any man, especially 
that any man pretending to education and taste, above 
all, that any man bearing himself, as Hume always 
emphatically did, to be the very Aristarchus, the very 
Simon Pure of critical taste and judgment, should have 
been so absolutely blind to what lay there, in all its 
reality of power, immediately before his very eyes ? 
Hume had seen, and we may say, read Othello, the very 
highest height in that kind, it may be, ever by mortal 


man reached yet ; a composition in its very nature super- 
natural ; and his whole soul is not seized, and entranced, 
and wonder - stricken by what he sees ! No ; very far 
from that, he is rejoiced that, after the author of Agis, 
we may hope at last to see good tragedies in the English 
language ; we may hope at last to see the English stage 
vindicated from the reproach of barbarism ! we may hope 
at last to have acquired in the Douglas of John Home 
what he is persuaded will be esteemed the best, and, by 
the sole true critics, the only tragedy in our language ! 
Othello lies before David Hume, and yet Douglas is to be 
the best and only tragedy in oar language ! How any 
man could write down even these four lines from the 
Julius Caesar, and yet not know that he had in them a 
communication from the depths, but should turn from 
them to refresh his ear (say) with the tinkling, ten- 
syllabled couplets that give us the usual see-saw of 
purling streams, and enamelled meads, and warbling 
choristers, is a mystery to me ! Hume knew something 
even of the Elizabethan drama generally ; he speaks of 
the Volpone of Ben Jonson, and of how Every Man in 
Ms Humour was but a preliminary essay towards it. — 
" Had Every Man in his Humour been rejected," he 
says, " we had never seen Volpone " — and yet in his 
essay of " Civil Liberty " he writes thus : " The French are 
the only people, except the Greeks, who have been at 
once philosophers, poets, orators, historians, painters, 
architects, sculptors, and musicians : with regard to the 
stage, they have excelled even the Greeks, who have 
far excelled the English ! " What strange infatuation ! 
Shakespeare is so alone in mere dramatic quality, the 
breadth and depth of his matchless humanity apart, that 
there is not in all ancient times, there is not in all 
modern times, one solitary individual that we can set 
beside him. — I heard a German once in Paris tell a 

ME. POPE. 231 

professor there, who was vaunting his Corneilles and 
Ratines, that their entire French literature put into the 
scale were all too light perceptibly to lift a Shakespeare 
from the spot ; and yet, according to Hume, the French 
drama far surpasses the Greek, and the Greek far 
surpasses the English ! What a height of superiority 
Hume must have feigned for the Ratines and Corneilles 
over Shakespeare ! All this, however, is of a piece with 
the general literary judgment of the period in which 
Hume lived, at the same time that Hume must be seen 
to constitute in himself the very extract, and summary, 
and personification of that judgment. "A hundred 
cabinetmakers in London can work a table or a chair 
equally well," says Hume, in his essay " Of Eloquence," 
" but no one poet can write verses with such spirit and 
elegance as Mr. Pope." Mr. Pope ! Mr. Pope is very 
often on the lips of David Hume, and seldom absent, 
very possibly, from his mind. " England," it seems, 
according to him, " must pass through a long gradation 
of its Spensers, Johnsons, 1 Wallers, Drydens, before it 
arise at an Addison or a Pope ! " At Spensers and 
Jonsons in this rise, one wonders a little ; and one is 
pleased to see no Shakespeares or Miltons in it ; but 
why no Chaucers ? He, at least, had the ten-syllabled 
clinks ! Well, very possibly, if Shakespeare was bar- 
barous to Hume, Chaucer was worse — very possibly he 
was to Hume both barbarous and unintelligible. Then 
the rise from Spensers, Jonsons, Drydens to Addison! 
Why Addison's verse — and it is only verse — is now 
absolutely unknown. One thing one wonders at in 
Hume is the respect with which, when named, he seems 
always to have for Milton. Some time ago at least, I 
do not think any true follower of Hume, any genuine 
aufgekliirt cpirjon of his, was apt to imitate his master in 
1 By that "Johnson," Hume must mean Ben Jonson. 


this. Late genuine Aufgeklarters of the Hume stamp, 
for the most part, coupled Milton with Shakespeare — in 
their aversion. Aufgeklart, as they were, enlightened, 
and with a perfect hatred in their hearts at that lie, the 
Bible, they did not relish the subjects and the beliefs of 
Milton ; and they disliked blank verse ! These were the 
men who owned no music in verse, who could not read 
any verse, unless it murmured on in regular ten-syllabled 
clinking couplets without a break. Any break, even in 
these, was a horror to them ; and doubly so, therefore, 
any measure else ; for any measure else was but too 
often broken into pauses, and was without that charming, 
close-recurrent, heroic clink — was, to the ear, in fact, no 
better than without clink at all. So it was, in the 
main, that these men knew only two poets, Pope and 
Goldsmith ; for even Dryden, in his " incorrectness," they 
said, did not satisfy them. What alone satisfied them 
was "a good author," whom they could take up (as 
recommended by Blair) at any interval of leisure, to 
beguile them by the murmur of the manner into oblivion 
of the matter, whether in verse or prose. I am picturing 
a class of men that are not so common now. They were 
all what is called well-informed men, and had a taste 
for the reading of books. With individual differences, 
they were, in literary taste, very much as I say ; and 
they were, in religious enlightenment, or anti-religious 
enlightenment, still more as I say. After these char- 
acteristics, the most notable remaining one was their 
freedom from prejudice ! They had not a prejudice, 
these men ; they were above every one of the prejudices 
that we, common men, their weaker brothers, truckled to, 
as in regard to — religion in the first place — but then 
also in regard to place of birth, or country, or kindred, or 
the wise saws of our grandmothers about " green Yules," 
etc. And yet these all opened, these calm, free, dis- 


passionate minds were the least calm, the least free, the 
least dispassionate — the most narrow and the most 
narrowly intolerant minds that could well be found in 
the whole gradation of humanity. Now of these men Hume 
was the originating prototype. Of course, he was much 
larger than they. Whatever he was, he was in that, prime, 
original, sole and single, himself. He was a most taking 
mass of good nature, too, and was capable of generosity, 
— generosity with forethought, generosity with prudence. 
Kant was surprised that Hume — to him " the fine and 
gentle Hume " — should have been " a great four-square 
man." Caulfield, Lord Charlemont, speaks of " the un- 
meaning features of his visage : his face broad and fat, 
his mouth wide, and without any other expression than 
that of imbecility, his eyes vacant and spiritless." In 
person, too, he was so remarkably huge and corpulent 
that he says himself, his " companions," when he and 
they were backing from the imperial presence at the 
Vienna Court, " were desperately afraid of his falling on 
them and crushing them " — a perfect Gulliver among 
the Lilliputians ! Then we are to fancy that prodigious 
corporeity of a man bashful as a boy, rustic - looking, 
uncouth, as shapeless and awkward in his military 
uniform as a train - band grocer, speaking his English 
ridiculously " in the broadest Scotch accent, and 
his French, if possible, still more laughably," and 
that, too, in " a creeping voice " that piped a weak 
falsetto ! It will only complete the picture if we fancy 
such a figure as this of Hume at the opera in l'aris, — 
his " broad unmeaning visage " " usually rising," as it is 
said, entre deux jolts minois (between two piquant female 
faces), — or better still, if we fancy him, in the Tableau of 
the Salon of a night, as the sultan between the two 
sultanas, sorely put to it as to what to say to them, but 
desperately ejaculating, " There you are, ladies ! there you 


are ! " and yet, more desperately thumping his stomach or 
his knees, for a quarter of an hour continuously, till one 
of his sultanas jumps up impatiently, muttering, " I did 
just expect as much — the man is only fit to eat a veal ! " 
It was in this way that his philosophic dignity suffered 
at Paris ; but it is characteristic of the man that he 
rather liked it ; he himself " seemed to be quite pleased," 
it is said, " with this way of living." He was particu- 
larly simple and soft in fact ; his own mother used to 
say of him, " Oor Davie's a fine guid-natured crater, but 
uncommon wake - minded." It is really extraordinary 
that, in the midst of this mass of simplicity, good- 
nature, and, if I may say so, blubber, there should have 
been found the subtlest analytic intellect that was then, 
probably, in existence — almost as though it were itself 
the paradox that it alone loved. That perfect refinement 
of written speech, too ; we might as well expect Daniel 
Lambert to have the lightest foot in the dance ! How it 
is such refinement, indeed, that he would wish to have 
before him always ! It is a perfect joy for him to say to 
himself, Virgil and Eacine and Mr. Pope ! One is almost 
tempted to think that David Hume would have been 
contented to pass his life with no more than a schedule 
before his eyes of all the great classical names in litera- 
ture. He is quite happy to see them, one after the other, 
named in his pages. " Of all the great poets," he says, 
" Virgil and Eacine, in my opinion, lie nearest the centre." 
" 'Tis sufficient to run over Cowley once, but Parnell, after 
the fiftieth reading, is as fresh as at first." " Seneca 
abounds with agreeable faults, says Quintilian, dbundat 
dulcibus vitiis." " Terence is a modest and bashful 
beauty." " Each line, each word in Catullus x has its 
merit ; and I am never tired with the perusal of him." 

1 It says something for Hume that he could see that perfect diction in 


Ah ! how such studies " give a certain elegance of 
sentiment to which the rest of mankind are strangers!" 
How they " produce an agreeable melancholy," and how 
" the emotions which they excite are soft and tender ! " 
Ah ! " such a superiority do the pursuits of literature 
possess above every other occupation, that even he who 
attains but a mediocrity in them, merits the pre-eminence 
above those that excel the most in the common and vulgar 
professions !" Then he laments how far the English are 
still behind in such politeness and elegance ! He even 
fears that they are " relapsing fast into the deepest 
stupidity and ignorance" (Burton, ii. 268); "their 
comic poets, to move them, must have recourse to 
obscenity ; their tragic poets to blood and slaughter." 
" Elegance and propriety of style have been neglected ; " 
" the first polite prose they have was wrote by a man 
who is still alive (Dr. Swift)." And what a very limited 
improvement that was to Hume, we can see from a letter 
of his to Robertson (Burton, ii. 413). Eemonstrating with 
Robertson in regard to certain usages in style on his 
part, he says, " I know your affection for wherewith pro- 
ceeds from your partiality to Dean Swift, whom I can 
often laugh with, whose style I can even approve, but 
surely can never admire. — "Were not the Literature of 
the English still in a somewhat barbarous state, that 
author's place would not be so high among their classics." 
Then, again, in the same letter, " But you tell me that 
Swift does otherwise. To be sure, there is no reply to 
that ; and we must swallow your hath, too, upon the 
same authority. I will see you d — d sooner." It looks 
odd, — it is the custom of even swearing gentlemen to 
respect clergymen, — but Hume, for his part, seems to 
reserve himself in that way just for his clerical friends ! 
In a letter of about the same date to Blair, when praising 
Robertson for his second historical work, the Charles V., 


he says, playfully enough and good-naturedly enough, for 
it concerns the rival whom the public begin to place 
above himself : " I hope, for a certain reason, which I 
keep to myself, that he does not intend, in his third 
work, to go beyond his second, though I am damnably 
afraid he will ! " It is really very odd. I have read all 
the letters in Burton's two volumes, and I positively do 
not believe Hume ever to swear in the whole of them, 
except once to each of these two clergymen ! Of course 
on both occasions it is what is dearest to him, literature, 
that is concerned, and as we forgive the Englishman 
who, in his delight, d — d the Swiss Engadine, I suppose, 
for some such reason, we may also excuse Hume. "A 
celebrated French author, M. Fontenelle," says Hume, 
and it is evidently a sweet morsel in his mouth, but why 
it should be so, it is difficult to see ; for Fontenelle is no 
more than a name now, even to his countrymen, who 
have forgotten all he ever in such quantities wrote. 
Hume, however, actually quotes Fontenelle three times 
oftener than any other French writer ; while Moliere he 
only once just names ! Of the Italians, he refers to 
Tasso and Ariosto, but never to Dante. I suppose, 
however, that, for him, a philosopher by profession, 
his very greatest blunder is that about Aristotle. " The 
fame of Cicero flourishes at present," he remarks, " but 
that of Aristotle is utterly decayed." But Hume's 
studies, as we saw formerly, were not at all deep in his 
own business — metaphysic. His ambition went out of 
that, it would seem, into literature as literature, polite 
literature. With what unction he allows himself to cry, 
" At twenty Ovid may be the favourite author ; Horace at 
forty; and perhaps Tacitus at fifty!" But, at any age, when 
he says, " Virgil and Bacine," " Mr. Pope and Lucretius," 
he puffs his breath, and actually rises two inches higher ! 
With all that, undoubtedly, and just with all that, and 


despite his stupidity of face and mere corpulence of body, 
Hume was, in heart and soul, a man of even rare sensi- 
bility. It is hardly possible to imagine greater pain, 
greater mortification than his was at the failure of his 
first literary ventures. He never recovered perfectly 
from the prostration of his early unsuccess. It was in 
vain for his publisher Millar, somewhat later, to write 
him of the sale of his books, of the remarks upon them, 
of new editions, etc. ; it was impossible to console him 
for that first insult. Even at Paris, in 17 04, at the 
very moment when he seemed to be worshipped as the 
very greatest of living literary celebrities, he writes (as 
though from a mind still humiliated and sore under the 
recollection of unmerited rebuff and disgust), " I have 
been accustomed to meet with nothing but insults and 
indignities from my native country, but if it continue so, 
ingrata patria, nc ossa quidcm habebis : ungrateful native 
country mine, thou shalt not even have my bones ! " 
Some little time before that, too, he had said to the same 
correspondent, " As to the approbation or esteem of those 
blockheads who call themselves the public, I do most 
heartily despise it." And yet Hume, in that great carcase 
of his, like Falstaff, perhaps, was not without humour. 
" Is not this delicious revenge?" he writes once to a friend ; 
"it brings to my mind the story of the Italian, who, 
reading that passage of Scripture, ' Vengeance is mine, 
saith the Lord,' burst forth, ' Ay, to be sure ; it is too 
sweet for any mortal.' " He was once asked, " What has 
put you into this good humour, Hume ? " and answered, 
" Why, man, I have just had the best thing said to me I 
ever heard." Hume had been complaining, it seems, 
thai having written so many volumes unreprehended, it 
was hard and unreasonable that he should be abused and 
torn to pieces for the matter of a page or two. " You put 
me in mind," said one of the company, " of an acquaintance 


of mine, a notary public, who having been condemned to 
be hanged for forgery, lamented the hardship of his case ; 
that after having written so many thousand inoffensive 
sheets he should be hanged for one line ! " Hume 
enjoyed jokes even against himself, though not always it 
would seem. On one occasion, remarking on the moral 
problem of a certain respectable Edinburgh banker 
eloping with a considerable sum of money, he was 
replied to by John Home, " That he could easily account 
for it from the nature of his studies and the kind of 
books he read." " What were they ? " said Hume. 
" Boston's Fourfold State," rejoined Home, " and Hume's 
Essays." It is said David, for a little, did not quite 
see the joke. 

Kant, as we know, tells some wonderful stories that 
seem no better than jokes, as that certain mineral waters, 
already hot, come much slower a-boil than ordinary 
water, etc. etc. ; and we are tempted to fancy that here, 
too, as usual, Kant has been under the influence of Hume, 
who records it as a fact that, " Hot mineral waters come 
not a-boiling sooner than cold water," as also that " Hot 
iron put into cold water soon cools, but becomes hot 
again." Kant, however, could not have seen these notes, 
which are from a memorandum book of Hume's, first 
published by Burton, I suppose, in 1846. If the 6av- 
fidaia aKovafiara are really Aristotle's, one might think 
that both moderns were vying with their ancient master, 
who has whole scores of such wonders as that, " In the 
Tigris there is found a stone such that whoever has it 
will never be harmed by wild beasts ; " or that, " In the 
Ascanian lake the water itself cleans clothes ; " or that 
" there is a stone like a bean in the Nile, which if dogs 
see, they do not bark." But it is not certain that the 
studies of either Kant or Hume had gone so deep in 
Aristotle ! It is to the advantage of Aristotle, too, that, 


in his case, the stories are, in all probability, spurious ; 
while for Kant and Hume, they are beyond a doubt. 
Physical science is apt to be " enlightened" now-a-days, and 
to revere Hume as a priest of " enlightenment ; " but, it 
would seem, Hume himself does not like physical science ; 
he has this memorandum here: "A proof that natural 
philosophy has no truth in it is, that it has only suc- 
ceeded in things remote, as the heavenly bodies ; or 
minute, as light ! " 

It is supposed that Kant was rather proud of his 
Scottish origin; but it will be difficult to match the 
satisfaction of Hume at times in the literary, and, conse- 
quently to him, general superiority of his countrymen. 
He opines that we, the Scotch, are "really the people 
most distinguished for literature in Europe ! " (Hear t hat, 
Mr. Buckle !) He asks with indignation on one occasion 
later, Do not the English "treat with hatred our just 
pretensions to surpass and govern them " ? And it is in 
consequence of the same conceptions that nothing can 
exceed his exultation, or his assurance, that, in the 
Epicjoniad of "Wilkie, the Scotch have produced one of 
the world's great epics. It was in the heroic ten- 
syllabled tink-a-tink, and it read like Tope's Homer. So 
it was that it took David. He just raved about it, and 
he actually got seven hundred and fifty copies sold of it ; 
but, with all that he raved about it, and all he did for it, 
it died. I suppose nobody alive now has ever seen it ; 
but no doubt it was as foolish a sham as ever impotence 
produced, or honesty believed in. It never served any 
purpose in existence, but to show, in the case of Hume, 
on what mere rot-stone a literary taste might lie founded. 
The extravaganl language of Hume here, if humiliating for 
him, is specially instructive for us. The Epigoniad is for 
] )avid " the second epic poem in our language : " "it is cer- 
tainly a most singular production, full of sublimity and 


genius, adorned by a noble, harmonious, forcible, and even 
correct versification : " its author, " relying on his sublime 
imagination, and his nervous and harmonious expression, 
has ventured to present to his reader the naked beauties 
of nature ! " And so one sees that it was not in David's 
eyes that the Epigoniad was a mere teased-up, tricked- 
out counterfeit to be taken to pieces in a day : it was 
impossible for him to get beyond what for him had " even 
correct versification " — a harmony quite possibly, so far 
as he could judge, like that of Mr. Pope ! The letters of 
Hume, in which these things appear, are always, never- 
theless, very interesting, and not without hits at times of 
rare sagacity, as when he asks Gibbon, why he composes 
in French, and tells him that " America promises a superior 
stability and duration to the English language ; " or when, 
from his own observations, he expresses it as his opinion 
of Germany that, " were it united, it would be the greatest 
power that ever was in the world." One learns, too, from 
these letters, and, generally, from Burton's Life of him, 
many earnest things of Hume. He was a warm and 
active friend, without a vestige of a grudge in him. How 
generous he was to Eobertson, urging him to write, ne- 
gociating for him with publishers, pushing his books, and 
praising them to everybody ! And as he was to Eobertson, so 
was he to every other possible rival — to Ferguson, to Henry, 
to Gibbon. To Adam Smith he had been so kind, and 
good, and helpful, that Smith, like the affectionate, simple 
creature he was, veritably worshipped Hume. Hume's 
friends indeed were a host, and not one of them but 
loved him. He had old mutton and old claret for them, 
and was very hospitable to them. He was a most 
zealous and affectionate uncle and brother; and did his 
best, simply for everybody, related or unrelated. One 
might, perhaps, except a little in the case of Smollett, 
whom, as a be-puffed rival, he had evidently viewed 


with impatience, and spoken somewhat disparagingly of 
in the character of a historian. That was not quite just. 
Smollett wrote his History for bread; but he wrote il 
well; with admirable style in the main, and he broke 
his constitution in its service. It was when so worn 
and exhausted that Smollett made an application to 
Hume, who was at that time a Secretary of State. 
Hume's answer, that he had spoken for him, but could 
give him no hope of a consulship, is cool business, and 
no more. A year later, Smollett, on the eve of starting, 
as he says, for his " perpetual exile," writes again to 
Hume, not for himself this time, however, but for a cer- 
tain neglected, though deserving, Captain Robert Stobo. 
Hume, on this occasion, writes warmly in return ; but 
what contributes, perhaps, to move him now is the 
opinion, expressed by Smollett, that he (Hume) is " un- 
doubtedly the best writer of the age." David cannot 
resist that compliment; it goes to his heart; and he 
" accepts " that " great partiality " of " good opinion " on 
the part of Smollett, "as a pledge of his goodwill and 
friendship!" Edmund Burke is said to have affirmed of 
Hume, that " in manners he was an easy unaffected man 
previous to going to Paris ; but that he returned a literary 
coxcomb." There does not appear to have been really 
any such change in Hume, so far as we are to accept the 
testimony of his friends at home. It would have been 
very strange, at the same time, if all his varied circum- 
stances of life had left behind them no traces on his 
character. Such flatteries as that of Gibbon, who offers 
to burn a work if Hume says so, though he would " make 
so unlimited a sacrifice to no man in Europe bm to Mr. 
Hume," or that of Smollett, which we have just seen, 
must have been not rare in the end; and they were pre- 
cisely the incense that would intoxicate a Hume, if, in 
such a subject, intoxication were possible at all. But, 



really, after everything, his experiences at the hands of 
the public and at those even of his friends, his experi- 
ences at Paris, his experiences as a Minister of State, he 
could not have been any longer the mere floundering 
youngling in the dark ; but must, in thought, speech, and 
action, have borne himself with the crest and confidence 
of a grown man that knew his own support in the train- 
Lags and trials within him. Hume was too genuine a 
man to be carried, so to speak, out of himself — to fall 
away into the insolence and conceit of the shallow. It 
might have been of him tht't Dr. Young said: "Himself 
too much he prizes to be proud." I think we shall see 
reason, too, when we specially come to that, not to be so 
very hard and harsh on Hume in the matter of religion. 
He hated superstition ; but no thought lay nearer his 
heart all his life than the thought of God. He medi- 
tated nothing more deeply, more reverently, more 
anxiously, than the secret source of this great uni- 
verse. "Walking home with his friend Ferguson, one 
clear and beautiful night, " Oh, Adam ! " he cried, look- 
ing up, " can any one contemplate the wonders of that 
firmament, and not believe that there is a God ? " On 
the death of his mother, too, whom he loved always with 
the most constant affection and the sincerest veneration, 
a friend found him " in the deepest affliction and in a 
flood of grief : " to this friend, then taking occasion to 
suggest certain improving religious reflections, David 
answered through his tears, " Though I throw out my 
speculations to entertain the learned and metaphysical, 
yet, in other things, I do not think so differently from 
the rest of the world as you imagine." 

"We are now prepared to advance to our conclusion in 
these matters, as I shall hope to accomplish in our next 


The Dialogues concerning Natural Religion —Long consideration and 
repealed revision of them — Their publication, Hume's anxiety 
for, Ins friends' difficulties with — Style, Cicero — Words and 
things, Quintilian — Styles, old and new — The earlier works — 
The Treatis* —Tin: Enquiry, Rosenkranz — Hume's provision — 
Locke, Berkeley — Ideas — Connection in them — Applied to the 
question of a Deity — of a Particular Providena — Extension of 
the cause inferred to be proportioned only to that of the given 
effect— Applied to the cause of the world— Natural theology to 
Hume — Chrysippus in Plutarch — Greek— The order of argu- 
mentation — The ontological— Matter the necessary existence — 
Thecosmological answers that- Infinite contingencies insufficient 
for one necessity — The teleological — Analogy inapplicable — 
Hume's own example. 

In passing now to those works of Hnrne which more 
especially regard our precise subject, we are naturally 
led, in so far as literary considerations still influence us, 
to the Dialogues concerning Natural Religion. At the 
time of his death, these Dialogues, it seems, had been 
under their author's hands for no less than twenty-seven 
years — exactly the judicial nine years three times over ! 
— twenty-seven years, during which they had been the 
subjects of innumerable revisions, corrections, alterations, 
emendations, and modifications of all kinds. I daresay 
we do not doubt now that what was principally con- 
cerned in these was the matter of style. " Stylus est 
optimus magister eloquenti yle is the supreme master 
of eloquence," a quotation of his own from Quintilian, 
seems to have been ever present to Hume's mind as his 
constant guide in writing. So it is we tind that these 


twenty-seven years have eventuated in effecting for the 
Dialogues in question a perfect finish and a polish ulti- 
mate. Doubtless, it is in his belief of this that their 
author manifests so much anxiety in regard to their 
posthumous publication. In his will, he leaves his 
manuscripts to the care of Adam Smith, with powder to 
judge in respect of the whole of them, the Dialogues con- 
cerning Natural Eeligion alone excepted : these Dialogues 
are to be published absolutely. It would appear now 
that, in Hume's circle, these dispositions of his will 
leaked out somehow and became known ; for already 
before his death there is question of these Dialogues 
between Hume and his friends. His biographer, Burton 
(ii. 491), says, "Elliot was opposed to the publication 
of this work ; Blair pleaded strongly for its suppression ; 
and Smith, who had made up his mind that he would not 
edit the work, seems to have desired that the testamentary 
injunction laid on him might be revoked." Hume was 
not to be baulked. He becomes sensitive on this subject 
of his Dialogues : " If I live a few years longer, I shall 
publish them myself," he says ; and, after various re- 
jected propositions, losing patience even with Smith, he, 
by a codicil to his will, retracts his previous destinations, 
and leaves his " manuscripts to the care of Mr. William 
Strahan of London," with the express condition that the 
Dialogues on Eeligion shall be " printed and published any 
time within two years after his death." But the anxieties 
of Hume, even after signature of this codicil, were not 
yet at an end. He is found to have returned to it, and 
to have tacked on to it a paragraph — to the effect that, 
if his Dialogues were not published within two years and 
a half after his death, he " ordained " the property to 
return to his " nephew David, whose duty in publishing 
them, as the last request of his uncle, must be approved 
of by all the world." And this David it was who did, 


in the end, publish the work ; for Strahan, too, had found 
it prudent to flinch. After so much gingerliness on the 
part of so many of the dearest friends of Hume, one 
expects to find something very dreadful in the book. So 
far, however, as I may judge, Hume, to use the phrase, 
had written much more dreadfully on the same subject 
before. The essay Of a Particular Providence in the 
Enquiry, for example, certainly seems to me to have left 
the Dialogues, relatively, nothing of any importance to 

"What strikes us at once in these is, as I have said, 
the style. One would think that Hume, in his admira- 
tion of Cicero, whether in point of matter or in point of 
form, had taken Cicero's various dialogues, mostly written 
in his own academic spirit, into serious study and emula- 
tion ; and had pleased himself with the idea that, as he 
resorted to the Latin of Cicero, so, in a far distant future, 
with deaths of nations, perhaps, men would resort to his 
English — for a like enlightenment of opinion, and even 
purity of prose ! For, indeed, it is Cicero that is the 
model to these writings of Hume, and not Plato ; though 
the simplicity of the latter may seem to have no less 
place in them than the ineffaceable labour of the former. 
It is really as Cicero has his Cotta and his Velleius, his 
Yarro and his Atticus, and not as Plato has his Socrates, 
and his Hippias, and the rest, that Hume has his young 
man Pamphilus, writing didactically to his young friend 
Hermippus of what Philo, and Demea, and his guardian, 
Cleanthes, said to each other in the library of the last. 
" My youth rendered me a mere auditor of their dis- 
putes," says Pamphilus ; "and that curiosity, natural to 
the early season of life, has so deeply imprinted in my 
memory the whole chain and connection of their argu- 
ments, that, I hope, I shall not omit or confound any 
considerable part of them in the recital." That sentence, 


in a way, is a specimen of the whole ; every word in it 
has been anxiously chosen; and every clause has received 
its place from a sufficient trial of the ear. The actual 
dialogue proceeds altogether as the circumstances suggest : 
we are in the society of the refined, of the polite, who are 
perfect in their consideration each of the other, and whose 
lips drop pearls. All here, indeed, is so very fine that 
every the least particular of it seems to have been cut by 
hand, — to have been pared, polished, trimmed, — nay, 
actually, to have been smoothed and finished off with 
morsels of window-glass and relays of sand-paper. But 
it remains a question whether Hume has not precisely 
made a mistake in what was so very dear to him. Even 
Lord Brougham, who was the last man, I suppose, that 
wrote such things, dropped the Hermippus's and the 
Pamphilus's, and took to the Althorps, the Greys, and others 
the like around him. It is to be feared that Hume here, 
and elsewhere indeed, has, in despite of his well-thumbed 
Quintilian, sinned precisely in the way which Quintilian 
reprobates — maintaining this, namely, that, insist on 
words as you may, you must not, in the first place, for 
all that, neglect things, which are as the nerves in causes, 
verbal eloquence being a very good thing, certainly, in the 
second place, " but only when it comes naturally, and is 
not affected" (Quintil. viii., Introd. 18). It is to be 
feared, I say, that Hume has not been sufficiently on his 
guard in this respect ; for all here is all too fine ; all here 
is truly so very fine that it largely fails to impress. 
They will always, no doubt, maintain their historical 
place and importance; but I know not that there are 
many, in these days, who make much case of these 
Dialogues. The Ciceronian set of them — the turns, " Said 
Cleanthes with a smile," or " Here Philo was a little 
embarrassed, but Demea broke in upon the discourse, 
and saved his countenance," — I know not that any one, 


since Lord Brougham, has cared for that kind of thing. 
The names Cleanthes, I hilo, Demea, etc., are no longer to 
our taste. Now-a-days, it is, on the whole, the material 
contribution, what Quintilian means as the " things," the 
" nerves," and not the mere verbal form, that is the main 
desideratum. For that part, indeed, after the more 
pointed, forceful, pictorial, less intentional and laboured 
style, to which we have been accustomed by our later 
writers of all kinds, novelists, historians, critics, publicists, 
the older, so very smoothly flowing, well-balanced style 
rather affects us as opaque. We lose ourselves, as it 
were, in the murmur of it. In Hume, too, the well-bred 
rhilister, in his super-refinement of craze, is too con- 
stantly betrayed to us. "The book," he tells us with 
such a proper air, " carries us, in a manner, into com- 
pany, and unites the two greatest and purest pleasures of 
human life, study and society ! " One could hope, for 
Hume's sake, that all would turn nut to his wish to leave 
something classical behind him that, as such, would be 
cherished 1 >y posterity, and ever by the young as standard 
consulted. But it is time to refer to the "nerves," tin' 
matter of the book. Profitably to do this, however, it 
appears to me necessary that we should first know some- 
thing of this matter in the form it took in its author- 
earlier works. 

The Treatise of Hitman Nature is a work in three 
volumes, of which the first and second, when first 
published in 1739, fell, its author avows, "dead-born 
from the press." Hume, however, pocketed fifty guineas 
for these two volumes ; and it is pretty certain he would 
not have pocketed fifty shillings for them had his 
publisher then been as most publishers now. As tor the 
third volume, we learn that it was published, a year later, 
by another publisher; and that is all! At present, I do 
not think it is ever read. There are some readable 


passages in it on political subjects ; but as for the general 
text on morals, one reads and reads — at least I read and 
read, and wonder what it is all about — wonder is there 
any meaning in that cheerful, endless, prolixity that will 
not enter one's mind, and give itself a place there ! 
Indeed, if others are as I am, then I fear the second 
volume may not generally interest more than the third. 
But with the first volume it is altogether otherwise. 
That volume, with its Book on the Understanding, is full 
of interest, and will always command the attention of the 
philosophical student. Here Hume is really in earnest, 
and always saying something, unless, perhaps, in the 
mathematical part, where, indeed, his ideas — crude, callow, 
wild — fall, on the whole, hopelessly wide. Hume's 
style is always excellent where he has, as generally in 
this Book, business before him. Where that is the case 
— business, reality — Hume discards all unnecessary 
ambages ; the softness, looseness of uncertainty dis- 
appears, and, in its place, we have the force and the 
stroke and the feeling of decision. No publicist now 
could write a better style than the young Hume then. 
Every word is clear, flexible in shape to the meaning 
and the mood. I am not sure but that it is a better 
style than when in his Essays, a year or two later, he 
adds to these qualities — by express effort adds to these 
qualities, what is to him elegance ; and I am quite sure 
that when, some six years later still, judging that his 
unsuccess in the Treatise had, as he says, "proceeded 
more from the manner than the matter," he " cast the 
first part of that work anew," and published it as the 
Enquiry — I am quite sure that then, in contradiction 
of himself, it was not the manner but the matter he 
improved. The new manner, in fact, strikes as something 
t/z'simproved ; as something that has been artificially taken 
in hand, and only unsuccessfully re-made ; as something 

bume's btock-in-teadb. 249 

externally introduced, and that seems affected. It is 
certainly that that has been in the mind of Rosenkranz 
when he had to apply the term " redselige" to 
these essays — dub them, that is, " talkative," or, as we 
might say, verbose. In matter, however, tin- later work 
really is an improvement on the earlier, which, with its 
ability of any kind, always suggested the idea young ! 
At the same time it is to be said, mainly of Hume's 
specially metaphysical efforts, and in his own words to 
Francis Hutcheson at the very time he published the 
Treatise, that his " reasonings will be more useful by 
furnishing hints and exciting people's curiosity, than as 
containing any principles that will augment the stock of 
knowledge." How accurately Hume judged of himself 
then, we are only getting more and more clearly to under- 
stand now, after a hundred and fifty years! Hume was 
original on a very small provision — from without, namely. 
In effect, it appears to have been the fashion then to read 
beforehand little more than contemporaries. It would go 
hard to tell what John Locke had read before he wrote 
his Essay. With all his Greek in the end, too, Berkeley 
seems only to have read Locke at first. Now, these two 
writers are really library enough for all Hume's meta- 
physics. Sather we may say that, in that reference, it 
was with what he took from Berkeley that Hume started 
as his whole stock-in-trade. Not but that, again and 
again, we may read Locke as Hume, and Hume as Locke. 
Berkeley conceived all to consist of two sorts of spirits, 
with what he called ideas between them. To finite 
spirits an infinite spirit gave ideas; and these were the 
universe. The ideas between the two spirits constituted 
the universe. Hume, now, was completely taken by this 
thought; he was absorbed into it. And he issued from 
this absorption with his own rearrangements. It 
appeared to him, in the end, that the ideas were the only 


facts ; that so they were evidence for themselves, but for 
nothing further. The spirit that gave, the spirit that 
received: the one as well as the other was a gratuitous 
hypothesis. The sole evidence that could be alleged for 
cither was the ideas themselves. But that the ideas 
were, and were together, was no reason for assuming 
quite another and peculiar entity in which they were ; 
and if we were to start with a presupposition, we might 
as well start with the ideas at first hand as with only a 
presupposed presupposition at second hand. No doubt, 
said Hume, to that presupposed presupposition, to the 
infinite Spirit, to God, it was what was called reasoned, 
from the ideas, and, specially, from the connection of the 
ideas. But had they, then, this connection, these ideas ? 
This was the question Hume here put to himself ; and 
into that question, pretty well, his whole metaphysic 
summed itself. It is not necessary that we should enter 
at full into the resultant theory of cause and effect. 
One can see at once, from the materials as put, how it 
would all go. There were the ideas ; and they were said 
to be connected ; but what did that mean ? They cer- 
tainly came in conjunctions ; but if we examined them the 
one with the other individually, even as in conjunction, not 
one of them showed a reason, a tie, that bound it to the 
other. They were associated ; no doubt that was the fact ; 
but we knew no more than that. We found the associa- 
tions to be such and such ; and just so we expected 
them as such and such. Even by the habit of the 
association, the one member of it suggested the other ; 
and that alone was the connection, that alone was the 
reason, the sole tie that bound them together. There 
was no ground for the necessity, under the name of power 
even, which we feigned or believed to exist in the associa- 
tion, but, as now fully explained, habit, custom. There 
were certainly two kinds of ideas. There were ideas 


mediate, and there were ideas immediate; the latter in 
two distinctions, the former only in one. The doable 
distinction was named of externality and internality. 
Internal immediate ideas were all our feelings within as 
at first hand, or directly experienced; while external 
immediate ideas were what come before as, as the world 
of objects perceived, of things seen. Both class* I 
immediate ideas, whether within or without, were natur- 
ally to be named impressions ; while the single class of 
mediate ideas were, just as commonly regarded, ideas — 
ideas proper. They were but reflections or copies of the 
impressions. Whal is, then, as it all lies there now 
before the eye of Hume, may be pictured as an infinitely 
minute but sole-existent prism, the light on one side of 
which shall represent the impressions, as the resultant 
colours on the other shall be surrogates of the ideas. 
Ideas and impressions are but the same thing twice. With 
Locke and Berkeley, therefore, they may be all called 
ideas; and there seems no reason for making a separate 
entity of the spot, the personality, the mere locus, in 
which they meet. That they meet is the sole fact; nor 
has the meeting-point any substantiality further. Ideas, 
and ideas alone, constitute the universe. This is what 
Hume has made of the stock of thought he received from 
Berkeley, and he is wholly dominated by it ; he im- 
plicitly believes in it; it constitutes truth for him — 
philosophical truth, that is; for Hume makes the dis- 
tinction between natural and philosophical, instinct and 
reason. As David Hume, his mother's son, he is quite as 
you or I; sees all things around him just as we <\" ; 
and has no doubt whatever but that there is that in the 
cause — an agency, an efficacy, a power — which by very 
nature necessitates the effect; but, as a philosopher, he 
challenges you and me and all mankind //an intellectual 
reason — an insight, an understanding, not a mere instinct, 


nut a mere blind, unintelligible, mechanical force — if an 
intellectual reason can be given for the necessity of the 
cllW't i-nsuiiHj on the cause, he challenges you and me 
and all mankind to produce it — " show," he says, " one 
instance of a cause where we discover the power or 
operating principle." 

We have probably as much of Hume's reasonings 
before us now as is necessary, and may proceed to apply 
it to the question of a God. In this he takes full advan- 
tage of our demonstrated inability, as he thinks, to give 
a philosophical reason for the admitted necessity of cause 
and effect. He thinks he has proved to a certainty that, 
as he says, " the supposition of an efficacy in any of the 
known qualities of matter is entirely without foundation ; " 
that " all objects which are found to be constantly conjoined 
are upon that account only to be regarded as causes and 
effects ; " that " as all objects which are not contrary 
are susceptible of a constant conjunction, and as no real 
objects are contrary, it follows that, for aught we can 
determine by the mere ideas, anything may be the cause 
or effect of anything ; " " creation, annihilation, motion, 
reason, volition — all these may arise from one another, 
or from any other object we can imagine ; " that " the 
necessity of the cause to its effect is but the determina- 
tion of the mind by custom ; " that this necessity, there- 
fore, is something that exists in the mind, and not in the 
objects ; " that " the connection between cause and effect, 
the tie or energy by which the cause operates its effect, 
lies merely in ourselves, and is nothing but the determina- 
tion of the mind from one object to another object 
acquired by custom." Hume, now, in the light of 
these conclusions, has as little difficulty in emptying 
God of all efficacy as any the most common and 
everyday agent, fire and water, or earth and air ; for, as 
he says, " anything may be cause or effect of any- 


thing ! " " Thought is in no case any more active 
(operative) than matter;" "we have no idea of a Being 
endowed with any power, much less of one endowed with 
infinite power;" sit far as "our idea of that supreme 
Being is derived from particular impressions, none of 
which contain any efficacy, there is no Mich thing in the 
universe as a cause or productive principle, not even the 
Deity Himself." If anyone will take the trouble to read 
parts three and four of the first book of the Treatise, he 
will find such phrases as these that 1 have quoted without 
difficulty almost upon every page. In these respects the 
Enquiry, if more measured and somewhat less direct, is 
on the whole fuller and quite as explicit ; and our reference 
in it, apart from the express consideration of causality, is 
the section Of a Particular Providence. There he puts 
the argument, which he engages to refute, thus: " From 
the order of the work you infer that there must have 
been project and forethought in the workman;" "the 
argument for a divine existence is derived from the order 
of nature, the marks of intelligence and design in it : '" 
"this is an argument drawn from effects to causes." 
Now, that being so, says Hume, "we must proportion 
the one to the other; we can never he allowed bo ascribe 
to the cause any cpialities but what are exactly sufficient 
to produce the effect." And that is the single fulcrum 
on which the entire course of the subsequent argumenta- 
tion rests. That argumentation we must see; but may 
we not say at once that, on Hume's own premises, any 
such argumentation must find itself in the air, for he 
himself has already withdrawn beforehand it- single 
basis of support ? The one absolute fulcrum is to lie an 
equality of qualities in the two terms of the relation ; 
the qualities in tin- cause must be proportional to the 
qualities in the effeel ; we must ascribe to the cause only 
such qualities as are sufficient to account for the qualities 


in the effect. I daresay we are all directly not a 
little surprised at this. Qualities! qualities that have 
efficacy! we think to ourselves — why, Hume has just 
told us that in the matter of causation we must not 
think of qualities at all ! " The supposition of an efficacy 
in any of the known qualities of matter is entirely without 
foundation ! " And that means, though he says, " known 
qualities," any qualities, as implied by his own expressions 
now. That means, too, not "matter" alone, but any- 
thin-' whatever ; for he has already said that, so far as 
qualities are concerned, anything may be the cause of 
anything. We can only secure to Hume some measure 
of consistency here, in his demand to proportionate the 
qualities in the cause to those in the effect, by regarding 
the qualities as themselves objects, by assuming out of 
the plurality of qualities in the cause and in the effect 
one quality in the one, to have always been respectively 
conjoined with a correspondent quality in the other — a 
plurality and an assumption, plainly, which will still 
bring Hume each its own difficulties. But that apart, 
what of the subsequent argumentation? Now that 
still depends on the presupposed fulcrum, the intention 
of which we must see to have been this : In reasoning 
from the world to God, and so reaching God, we must 
not proceed to dwell on the idea reached, and so expand 
it in our imaginations beyond what constituted it as 
reached and ivhen reached. Really in that lies the whole 
subsequent argumentation itself, just as in what was said 
of proportionate qualities in the cause and the effect, 
we saw the one fulcrum in support of such argumentation. 
" The same rule holds," Hume says, " whether the cause 
assigned be brute unconscious matter or a rational intel- 
ligent being: if the cause be known only by the effect, 
we never ought to assign to it any qualities beyond what 
are precisely requisite to produce the effect ; nor can we, 


by any rules of just reasoning, return back from the cause 
and infer other efl'ects from it beyond those by which 
alone it is known to us." And this here evidently 
means that if the order in nature entitles us to infer an 
artificer of greal power and great wisdom, it is inadequate 
to the conclusion of almighty power and almighty wisdom, 
and may not improbably suggest other very different 
attributes from those of all-justice and all-goodness. In 
point of fact, it is precisely of such propos on the p 
Hume that the whole subsequent argumentation consists. 
It seems to have been summed up by some writers in 
this way, that they supposed Hume to say that the world 
was a " singular effect." That is true, however, only in 
so far as singular shall be allowed to be equal to parti- 
cular, so that we are to infer a particular cause from the 
particular effect that the world is. If Hume uses singular 
of the world, the word does not mean for him, then, 
unexampled, unprecedented, incommensurable, transcen- 
dent beyond all relation or comparison, but simply, as 
I have said, and in the sense I have said, particular. 
liven when a doubt is expressed whether it be possible 
for a cause to be known "only by (that is, only so far as) 
its effect, or to be of so singular and particular a nature 
as to have no parallel and no similarity with any other 
cause or object that has ever fallen under our observa- 
tion," what is really meant is precisely what 1 mean by 
particular: the effect of the doubt is to a singularity or 
particularity that would bind down the reasoning to 
itself alone, which doubt, moreover, is put into the mouth 
of the opponent to the argument, who, however, Ls repre- 
sented to acknowledge in the end that the previous 
reasonings on the supposition of a singular elicit 
warrant in-- no more than an equally singular cause, 
"seem at least to merit our attention. Their is, I own " 
(he concludes), " some difficulty how we can ever return 


from the cause to the effect, and reasoning from our 
ideas of the former, infer any alteration on the latter or 
any addition to it ; " and these are the very last words of 
the whole section. To say then that Hume calls the 
world a " singular " effect, means only, Hume holds the 
world to be a particular effect, referring only to a pro- 
portionately particular cause. 

We have now seen as much as I think it was necessary 
to see of the Treatise and the Enquiry, and I return to 
the consideration of the Dialogues. They are laid out 
into twelve parts, but one cannot say that so much 
externality has any bearing on the internality of the 
development and exposition of the subject. While the 
ontological and cosmological arguments, if touched at all, 
are no more than touched, the teleological argument is, 
on its side, only most inefficiently and disappointingly 
scattered, in a mere miscellany of remark, over the whole 
dozen dialogues, or so-called parts. This argument, 
though all but exclusively the single subject of con- 
sideration, is indeed most confusedly presented to us. 
and in a mass, simply, of unmethodized objections. Not 
but that Hume has, in his secret self, all his life dwelt 
on the question of a God, and gives here now most 
respectful voice to his estimation of it. " What truth," 
he says (and these are about his first words) — " what 
truth so important as this (the Being of a God, namely ). 
which is the ground of all our hopes, the surest founda- 
tion of morality, the firmest support of society, and the 
only principle which ought never to be a moment absent 
from our thoughts aud meditations ? " Why, that is a 
sentence which Lord Gifford himself might have included 
without a jar among his own so very similar sentences in 
the body of his Bequest. And in regard to the subject 
itself, even as named, Natural Theology, Hume speaks 
always not less with the most impressive respect. It is 


" the saying of an ancient," he remarks, not far from the 
sentence quoted, "'That students of philosophy ought 
first to learn Logics, then Ethics, next Physics, L 
all the Nature of the Gods.' This science of Xatura 
Theology, according to him, heing the most profound and 
abstruse of any, required the maturest judgment in its 
students, and none but a mind enriched with all the 
other sciences can safely be entrusted with it." This 
position assigned to our subject, Natural Theology, is 
probably no more than in itself it deserves; but it is 
not so certain thai Hume is correct in his interpretation 
of the authority he quotes. That authority he names 
Chrysippus in a certain passage of Plutarch's. Hume 
now, in his Autobiography, takes credit to himself, as we 
know, for having recovered, while living with his mother 
and brother in the country, " the knowledge of the Greek 
language, which he had too much neglected in his early 
youth." David's Greek, I fear, might have stood a little 
more recovery. In his own editions of his books it has 
mostly a very shabby look : and certainly here, so far as 
the translation goes, it does not come well to proof. 
Hume does not give the original, but I have looked up 
the Greek and transcribed it here (TrpoiTov fiev ovv Bo/cel 
fioi, Kara ra opuo)$ vtto twv apyauov eipr^fxeva rpia yevrj 
Twv rov (pLXoaocpov Oewp-qpLUTOiv elvac ra fihv XoyiKii, 
ra oe tJulko., tcl Be cpvaiKci- twv Be (pvai/ccbv eayarov eli'ai 
rbv irepl rwv detov Xoyov). Literally translated, it runs 
thus: "First then, ii seems to me, a- was rightly said by 
the ancients, that there are three kinds of theorizings of 
the philosopher, Logics, Ethics, Physie>. and that of 
Physics the last part is that concerning the Gods." We 
have thus three sciences, and in a certain succession, but 
it is not intimated that they are to be so studied, and 
still less that what concerns the Gods is a fourth study, 
and one which is to be taken alone after the other three. 



On the contrary, what concerns the Gods is only termed 
the last part of physics. Nay, if the good David had 
only read further, he would have found the Greek going 
on to speak of physics, and specially that last part of 
physics, not as dependent on and following ethics, but as 
precedent to and conditioning ethics (Plut. de repug. 
Stoicorum, or de stoic, paradox, Opp. i. p. 1035 A). And 
it stands to reason that the practical moral should 
postulate beforehand all that can be theoretically known. 
The passage, however, gives certainly an eminent place 
to what concerns the Gods ; and Hume, let his Greek be 
what it may, is to be justified in referring to it in support 
of the supremacy as a study of Natural Theology. It is 
not a little to his praise, indeed, that, after Paris, and 
D'Holbach, and the seventeen atheists who surrounded 
him, — after these experiences, and no less than twenty- 
seven years of labour and reflection, he should so 
unequivocally declare himself. 

If, as regards the Dialogues, we take Hume's im- 
methodical miscellany interrogatively in hand, and intro- 
duce such order and arrangement into it as shall enable 
us with confidence and ease to grasp its reasonings, we 
shall find these susceptible of falling into such a scheme 
as this : — Taking advantage of expressions of Hume's 
own, we may say that the arguments in question are, 
first of all, either d priori or a posteriori ; and then, that 
while, in the latter class, the teleological stands alone, 
both the ontological and the cosmological are, by Hume, 
conjoined in the former. It cannot be said, however, 
that the cosmological argument is strictly or purely a 
priori; for, in reality, it involves an empirical fulcrum, an 
empirical basis of support. Nevertheless, as, any further, 
it may be named abstract only, the cosmological argument 
may be regarded as constituting, from its peculiarity, an 
exact mean between the two other arguments. 


Taking the ontological argument first, then, we find 
that it can hardly be more perfectly and coir 
expressed than by Hume himself. In an early menu >]- 
andum book of his, copied out by Burton, it appears 
thus : " The idea of infinite perfection implies that of 
actual existence." Of the very idea of God, namely, 
exigence is a necessary complement. Hume, in his 
Dialogues, quotes Malebranche to the effect that Being 
simply, Being, existence, is the very nature of God — ;( His 
true name is, He that is, or in other words, Being withoul 
restriction, All Being, the Being infinite and universal." 
In Part IX., however, where the d priori argument is 
expressly placed, Hume has already dismissed this idea 
of Malebranche from his mind, and perhaps quite for- 
gotten his own early statement. There his statement 
now of the ontological argument is that it regard- 
as the " necessarily existent Being, who carries the reason 
of His existence in Himself, and who cannot be supposed 
not to exist without an express contradiction;" but of 
" this metaphysical reasoning," as he names it, Hume, 
who characterizes it also as obviously ill-grounded and of 
" little consequence," will show, he says, the " weakness " 
and the " fallacy." " I shall begin with observing," he 
declares, " that there is an evident absurdity in pretending 
to demonstrate a matter of fact." " Nothing is demon- 
strable, unless the contrary implies a contradiction. 
Nothing that is distinctly conceivable implies a contra- 
diction. "Whatever we conceive as existent we can also 
conceive as non-existent. There is no being, therefore. 
whose non - existence implies a contradiction. Conse- 
quently there is no being win ise existence is demonstrable. 
1 propose this argument as entirely decisive, and am 
willing to rest the whole controversy upon it." The 
reply to tins, of course, is, that God, as the Infinite 
Being, is above and beyond all such reasoning, limited 


and restricted, as it is, only to what is finite. God, as 
the Infinite Being implies existence : to deny His existence, 
negates his very idea, and is a direct self-contradiction. 
But we have to see more of this later when we come to 

Hume continues, " Why may not the material universe 
lie the necessarily - existent Being ? " " It may contain 
some qualities which would make its non - existence 
appear as great a contradiction as that twice two is five." 
■ No reason can be assigned why these qualities may not 
belong to matter ; as they are altogether unknown and 
inconceivable, they can never be proved incompatible 
with it." I fancy we will all allow the irrefragableness 
of that reasoning : it would be a hard matter for any of 
us to prove that whatever is utterly unknown and incon- 
ceivable is incompatible with anything whatever ! To 
talk of the inconceivable as a possible fulcrum of proof 
is surely peculiar to Hume. He says himself that " to 
establish one hypothesis upon another is building entirely 
in the air : " to build upon the inconceivable is hardly 
different or better. But why the material universe may 
not be the necessarily-existent Being is precisely the 
cosmolo"ical argument which comes now in its turn. 
Hume himself mentions this argument as " derived from 
the contingency both of the matter and the form of the 
world ; " nevertheless, as he seems to found his notion 
of contingency only on Dr. Clarke's representation 
that " any particle of matter may be conceived to be annihil 
ated, and any form may be conceived to be altered," we 
cannot feel sure that what he has got hold of is the 
quite adequate notion. That notion, however, is simply 
to the effect that contingent existence, by very name, 
means what is, what exists, simply as supported, and as 
unsupported, sinks, falls, — must sink, must fall, and drop 
out of being. That is the contingent ; while e contrario, 


the necessary is the self-supported, the self-subsistent, or 
the self-existent, the complete in itself and sufficient of 
itself. By very definition, then, or by very nature, it 
E( ill iws that the former implies the latter. The contingent 
infers the necessary, the accidental the substantial, by 
which or in which it is. That simple notion, now. is the 
fulcrum of the cosmological argument ; yet, simple as it is, 
Hume, on the whole, does not quite seem at home in it. 
While it is his single purpose in Tart IX., for example, to 
dispute, controvert, and refute it ; he had already passed 
his own deep imprimatur upon it in the second part, when 
he said, " nothing exists without a cause ; and the original 
cause of this universe we call God : Whoever scruples 
this fundamental truth, deserves every punishment," etc. 
But as much as this, it is not difficult to see, constitutes 
the whole cosmological argument, for it simply refers 
what is contingent, what is insufficient of itself to God, 
to that cause which is alone necessary, alone ultimate 
and final in itself. In Part IX., however, somewhat con- 
tradictorily, Hume argues against this reasoning in some 
such strain as follows : — 

He starts, as already referred to, with the question, 
" Why may not the material universe be the necessarily- 
existent Being ? " and when he is answered by the cos- 
molocrical argument which rests on the necessity of a 
regress through a whole possible chain of contingent 
causes back to a single absolute cause, he rejoins : " In 
such a chain, each part is caused by that which preceded 
it, and causes that which succeeds it — where, then, is the 
difficulty? But the whole, you say, wants a cause. I 
answer — this is sufficiently explained in explaining the 
cause of the parts — add to this, that in tracing an 
eternal succession of objects, it seems absurd to ask Eor a 
general cause or first author." That, as one sees, is not 
profound argumentation ; and it will be sufficient to 


remark for the pres?nt that no multiplication of parts 
will make a whole potent if each part is impotent. You 
will hardly reach a valid conclusion where your every 
step is invalid. Will you ever fill one full with nothing 
but empties, or put together a single significant figure 
with a million millions of ciphers ? It will be in vain to 
extract one necessity out of a whole infinitude of con- 
tingencies. Nor is it at all possible for such infinitude 
of contingencies to be even conceivable of reason. If 
each link of the chain hangs on another, the whole will 
hang, and only hang even in eternity, unsupported, 
like some stark serpent — unless you find a hook for 
it. Add weakness to weakness, in any quantity, you 
will never make strength ; if you totter already, 
the tottering against you of ever so many totterers will 
only floor you. 

But, on the whole, Hume may be said only to mention, 
and not seriously to meet, what are to him the d priori 
arguments. On the d posteriori argument it is that he 
puts forth all his strength. Even here, however, his 
strength is but a sceptical play ; for it is at least as a 
sincere Deist that he takes up his position before the 
curtain in the end. Nevertheless, when one considers 
how Adam Smith and the rest were glad to escape any 
responsibility here, our curiosity is roused, and we would 
fain see for ourselves the terrible argumentation that had 
so frightened them. Allowing for the ninth part, which 
we have just seen, for the first and last parts as only 
the one introductory and the other concluding, and for 
two other parts which are taken up with little more than 
tirades on the evils of existence, there remain seven parts 
in which the strict teleological argument is alone con- 
sidered. As I have said, the conduct of the dialogue is 
so miscellaneous in these parts that, for one's ease, even 
for one's intelligence, one is glad to turn to some principle 


of arrangement. Now what is considered here is God on 
one side and man on the other, with the analogy of 
design between them ; and it is with such scheme we may 
conceive Hume to open. Accordingly, the omnipotence 
of God, even as in supposition, is described at great length 
on the one side, as the impotence of man at equal length 
on the other, and it is asked, Can there be any analogy 
between them ? Man's sentiments are " calculated for 
promoting the activity and preserving the existence " of 
such a finite being ; his ideas, " derived from the senses, 
are confusedly (confessedly ?) false and illusive ; " and as 
these " compose the whole furniture of the human under- 
standing," how can such materials be " in any respect 
similar in the human and in the divine intelligence " ? 
Are we not " guilty of the grossest and most narrow 
partiality, when we make ourselves the model of the 
whole universe " ? Of course, the reply to such objections 
is obvious. In arguing from design we simply use the 
reason which is our very power and our very selves ; and 
in which, with whatever accidents, we have all history 
and all science to support and encourage our trust. Nor 
do we desire in the smallest degree to push our reason 
beyond what bounds it can itself realize. "We may pre- 
sume that reply sufficient for Hume himself even on his 
own principles ; for he will be found to grant us the right 
of speculation and inquiry to any extent, and into any 
region which the desire of knowledge, the love of truth, 
or even mere human curiosity may suggest. To as much 
as that, indeed, his own example would warrant, not only 
liberty, but one might even say, licence. "We turn now, 
then, to the third consideration which we have indicated 
here, the middle that lies between the two extremes of 
God on the one side and man on the other, the argu- 
ment from design itself. That we shall see again. 
Meantime, I may seem, so far, to have been only cursory 


to have remarked little, and to have quoted less. But 

I have really given all that there is in Hume as regards 
either the ontological or the cosmological argument ; and, 
perhaps in other respects, I shall be found in the end 
even to have hit the truth of the position which con- 
ditions Hume's whole way of looking. 


Tin- teleological argument — Two moments — First, the alleged ne- 
cessity of thought — It has itself no end — So matter enough — 
Thought itself only a part, limited, imperfect, and in want of 
explanation — Thought as thought common to us all, Grote, 
Hume, Erigena, Heraclitus — The sole necessity — Second, tin- 
analogy — The supreme cause not situated as other causes — 
Other principles, vegetation, generation — The world an animal 
— The Empedoclean expedient — The effect only warrants great 
power, not Almighty power— Evil — Free opinion — Hume's 
friends — Epicurus's dilemma — Superstition results — Four 
suggestions — No pain — Special volitions — Greater strength — 
Extremes banished from the world — Creation on general prin- 
ciples — Erasmus Darwin — Mr. Froude, Carlyle — Finitude as 
such, externality as such — Antithesis — Charles V. — Abdal- 
rahman III. — Septimius Severus — Johnson — Per contra — 
Wordsworth, Gihhon, Hume — Work, Carlyle — The trades — 
Comparison — Self-contradiction — Identity — Hegel — "As re- 
gards Protoplasm " — The Hindoos — Burton on cause — Sir John 
Herschel — Brown, Dugald Stewart — Spinoza — Erdmann — 
Notions and things, Erigena— Rabelais — Form and matter — 
Hume in conclusion. 

Hume's discussion, in his Dialogues, of the teleological 
argument, the argument from design, random as it runs, 
requires, in the first place, such arrangement as shall 
extend to us the ease of intelligence which is so necessary 
here — such arrangement as has been already referred to. 
The entire scattered discussion, then, we reduce to, and 
consider in, the following order, an order suggested by 
the single argument itself, which this discussion would 
overthrow. That single argument is this. The design 
which is admitted to exist in the world infers — by 


the necessity of thought, according to the principle of 
analogy — the existence also, or coexistence, of a designer. 
Now, here it is only the inference that is denied, and 
not the design it founds on: the design itself is admitted 
to exist, But that inference can be opposed only in one 
or other of its two moments. Either its first moment 
(A), the alleged necessity of thought, or its second 
moment (B), the alleged analogy, is the subject of denial 
and dispute. On the first head, (A) it is first (1) argued, 
that, granting the necessity of thought, it is not com- 
pleted or concluded by the inference, but continues to be 
equally valid further. If a material world, or universe 
of objects, be such as to require a cause for the arrange- 
ment in it ; not less will a mental world, or universe of 
ideas, to which as cause the arrangement has only been 
transferred, require for itself a cause — a cause of its own. 
God Himself, that is, if offered as cause for the one 
world, would constitute in Himself just such other 
mental world, and would equally stand in need of just 
such another cause. The explanation is only shifted one 
step back, thinks Hume ; but why stop at the first re- 
move ? " If we stop, and go no farther," he says, " why 
go so far ? " " Why not stop at the material world ? " 
" If the material world rests upon a similar ideal world, 
this ideal world must rest upon some other ; and so on, 
without end." " That the parts of the material world 
fall into order of themselves" is "as intelligible as 
that the ideas of the Supreme Being fall into order of 
themselves." And that being so, " we really assert the 
material world to be God; and the sooner we arrive 
at that Divine Being, so much the better." These are 
Hume's own words ; and it is really sufficient reply, so 
far, to say : There is no principle in matter itself to 
explain the design it exhibits; only a Designer can 
explain that. So far we believe our argument valid ; 


and so far we challenge disproof. To ask a second 
question is not to dispose of the first. (2) A Becond 
objection to the necessity of thought is: That it does nol 
apply: we are but a part — our thought is but the part 
of a pari ; and it is in vain to apply a part in ex- 
planation of the whole. Nay, (3) in the third place, our 
thought, even as in us, requires an explanation; at the 
same time that, (4) in the fourth place, it is so limited 
and imperfect that we can place no dependence upon it. 
I think, however, it will be plain that these are cavils, 
so far, rather than arguments. It is not true that 
thought can he characterized as only a part in reference 
to the whole; nor do we apply it, or wish to apply 
it, otherwise than as it justifies itself. It may, in 
individuals, and at times, err indeed; hut it is caricature 
to throw it out of count, because, as Hume says, "we 
never find two persons who think exactly alike, nor docs 
the same person think exactly alike at any two different 
periods of time." Mr. Grote borrows these words, and 
relying upon them, cannot help exclaiming in perfect 
astonishment, "Can it really be necessary to repeal that 
the reason of one man differs most materially from that 
of another ? " To which, in the very intensity of its 
shallow conviction, I reply, " Can it really be necessary 
to repeat that the reason of one man docs not differ 
most materially from that of another; but, on the con- 
trary, the reason of one man is essentially identical with 
that of another?" Here, in fact, ('.rote has not only 
forgot Hume, but Hume has forgol himself; asserting, 
as he does elsewhere, that "there La a great uniformity 
among men in all nations and ages, and human nature 
rem iins still the same." That is to the cited that there 
is hut one reason, which is the truth and the cosmical 
tart, though we had to go further hack for it than 
the intellect™ of Srutus Erigena, or even the \oycK 


fw/0'9 of Heraclitus. Thought is the one generality, 
the one universality, the one general solvent, the one 
universal solvent, which nothing may resist. "And 
what wonder!" says Scotus Erigena, "what wonder if 
the notion of things which the human mind possesses, 
concreated with itself, is found to be the true substance 
of the things themselves of which it is the notion ? " 
The universal, as the universal, is its own principle 
and its own basis of support. Thought, even as thought, 
accounts for its own self, if not in the finitude of man, 
then in the infinitude of God. There it is the one 
dvdy/cT], the sole necessity, that that could not not-be ! 

And with this we may suppose sufficiently met and 
discussed all that Hume has objected to the necessity 
of thought. Matter cannot account for its own arrange- 
ment ; a part may apply to the whole, if that part is 
thought ; which again, as in the race, is not incomplete 
and partial, but, as primal entity, as sole and primal 
duajKr) is, with God, the reason for itself. In fact, in 
the whole of the relative reasoning, there is not one reason- 
able word why man may not think the design which is as 
undeniable in his own self as everywhere around him. 

The second object of the attack of Hume is (B) the 
analogy. Man, as a thinking being, recognises in nature 
such adjustment of means to ends as is in perfect analogy 
with what he knows to be the product and result of 
design in the experiences and proceedings of his natural 
life in common with his fellows upon earth. Now, Hume's 
objections here may be arranged according as they seem 
to concern more especially the cause, or more especially 
the effect. 

In the first place, on the first head, he intimates 
that the cause is not placed as it is placed in the 
other cases to which we are accustomed. In these, 
we have usually experience of both terms. If we 

other principles. 2G9 

infer the step of a man from a footprint in the sand, 
say, the cause is already known to us from a great 
number of other effects, and the inference, consequently, 
does not really depend on the single experience. 
And then, in point of fact, what we see in matter may 
depend on principles of its own. We cannot say that 
motion, or other arrangement, is not native to it : we 
have never assisted at the origination of worlds: we 
have not, as elsewhere, any custom, any to and fro 
of effect to cause, or of cause to effect ; we have no 
experience of the divine. Nay, in the second place, 
if the design be not original to matter, it may be due 
to other principles than to the principle of thought, 
as to vegetation, for example, or to generation. We 
really do see such principles operative in matter. There 
is motion in it ; not one particle of matter, probably, 
ever is at rest. Then we do see vegetation and genera- 
tion both spontaneously operative. The world may be 
as a tree that sheds its seed ; or, as an animal that lays 
its eggs. A comet may be a seed— a germ, which, 
ripened from system to system, may itself become further 
in the inane a system of its own. And so it may have 
been with this our world, which, in point of fact, exhibits 
the traces of innumerable changes before it settled down 
into the orderly arrangement of the present. Indeed, in 
the third place, the whole world may be just one animal 
— an animal with a body, and an animal with a soul. 
This was an idea familiar to the ancients, who could not 
conceive, as we do, of souls purely as such— of souls 
without a body. The world has really much more 
analogy with an organized body than with a mechanical 
contrivance. "A continual circulation of matter in it 
produces no disorder: a continual waste in every part 
is incessantly repaired; the closest sympathy is per- 
ceived throughout the entire system; and each pan or 


member, in performing its proper offices, operates both 
to its own preservation and to that of the whole." 
Or, in the fourth place, returning to the idea of innate 
material arrangement, Hume has recourse to what I may 
call the Empedoclean expedient. We may remember 
Empedocles to have feigned the present orderly organic 
world to be due to the survival of the fittest, in this 
way. that the earth gave birth at first to all possible 
organisms, so to speak, pile mile. There were bull- 
headed men, and olive-leaved vines ; but in that hetero- 
geneous form they could not survive. What could alone 
survive was the homogeneous : there were no stable 
or persistent forms till only, at long and last, when what 
was homogeneous took its turn. It is absolutely the 
like suggestion that Hume now makes for matter. 
The particles of matter are all in motion ; and they have 
been in motion in the infinitude of time. But, so, they 
must have undergone an infinitude of revolution — an 
infinitude of vicissitude and change ; or, the complexions 
they formed must have passed through infinite suc- 
cessions until, I suppose, as mathematically demonstrable, 
the present complexion emerged, which, being orderly, 
is more or less permanent. And hence the appearance 
of design. 

On the second head, as concerns the effect, Hume 
maintains, in the first place, that the world as an effect 
only warrants the inference to great, but not to perfect 
power ; while, in the second place, the existence of evil 
in the world puts us in no very hopeful situation as 
regards the moral attributes of the Deitv. It was here, 
perhaps, that Hume's friends, one and all of them, took 
fright at these Dialogues, and positively fled from any 
, connection with the publication of them. Here, indeed, 
Hume is so very free in his objections and suggestions to 
the Almighty, that almost in these more audacious days 


they may shock even .us. Hume himself, possibly, had a 
consciousness of something of this ; for these words of 
his at the end of the work read to us at once as an 
apology and a defence, quite as though it was to these 
very friends he spoke. " It is contrary to common sense," 
he says, " to entertain apprehensions or terrors upon 
account of any opinion whatsoever, or to imagine that we 
run any risk hereafter by the freest use of our reason." 
And surely it will appear to every one that, as we are 
sent here to think, as to think is our vocation, we shall 
hardly be held responsible for the expression of our 
thought, provided only that both thought and expression 
are serious and in earnest. Hume, doubtless, must have 
considered himself sufficiently within these bounds, and 
must have been both vexed and surprised at the scruples 
of Smith and the rest, especially in view of his having, 
by express name, mentioned and met the very apprehen- 
sion under which, it could not but seem, they laboured. 
Nevertheless, it is quite certain that Hume, in all con- 
science, is not at any loss for boldness here. It is 
scarcely credible that the evils of this life were ever 
more glaringly painted, or the emendations of them ever 
more unmisgivingly proposed. But, after all, it comes, 
on the one head, to the usual tirades about misery and 
pain, and, on the other, to the customary remonstrances 
with the Deity for failure on His part either in will or in 
power. " Epicurus's old questions are yet unanswered," 
says Hume, " Is Clod willing to prevent evil, but not 
able ? then is lie impotent. Is He able, but uot willing ', 
then is He malevolent. Is He both able and willing? 
whence then is evil?" "Why is there any misery at 
all in the world?" And human life is human misery 
within and without. It is in the sense of his own im- 
becility to meet these evils, which come upon him from 
a power above him, that man growls to that power, and 


would fain conciliate to himself its good-will by flatteries 
and gifts. Hume has four suggestions of remedy in these 
respects. Like Alfonzo of Castile, had he been present, 
in the beginning of creation, at the counsels of the 
Almighty, some few things, he thinks, would have been 
better and more orderly arranged. He would, in the 
first place, have made all living creatures incapable of 
pain : they should have been impelled to the necessary 
action only by the diminution of pleasure. In the 
second place, he would have remedied all impending in- 
conveniences by particular volitions : he would have given 
the dram to his brain that would have made Caligula a 
Trajan, and he would have taken care to save the Roman 
republic by swelling, a foot or two, the sea that threat- 
ened Caesar. Thirdly, he would have endowed all animals 
with a much more satisfactory stock of strength. And 
fourthly, he would have given an amended constitution 
to the universe at large : the wind should never be 
allowed to become a storm, the heat a drought, or the 
rain a deluge. " So many ills in the universe," says 
Hume, "and these ills, so far as human understanding 
can be permitted to judge, might so easily have been 
remedied." Why, all is owing simply to " excess or 
defect " in consequence of " inaccurate workmanship ! " 
These are but a word or two from the pages of the 
original ; but they may serve to suggest the never- 
doubting openness of Hume in the story he tells and 
the propositions he makes. Perhaps of all these propo- 
sitions, the most surprising, as on the part of Hume, is 
that of a particular providence that would be on its 
guard always, and take all necessary precautions against 
accidental inconveniences, such as a Caligula or a Caesar. 
It is certain that in another work {Enquiry, vii. 1), after 
long consideration and careful revision, too, Hume holds 
it to argue " more wisdom in the Deity " to contrive a 


creation on general principles from the first, and "more 
power " to delegate authority to these principles " than to 
operate everything by His own immediatevolitibn." Erasmus 
Darwin, too, will be found to express himself strongly to 
ili<' same effect. Bui it would seem that others later in- 
cline to Hume's later view, and would like a God that 
prevents rain at harvest, and would cut in pieces before- 
hand the murderers of a Princesse de Lamballa Mr. 
Froude, in his Life of Carlyh (ii. 2G0), writes: "I once 
said to him (Carlyle) not long before his death, that I 
could only believe in a God who did something. With 
a cry of pain, which I shall never forget, he (Carlyle) 
said, 'He does nothing!'" One may be permitted to 
express one's surprise here at such crude doctrine under 
whatever or whichever name. It is altogether to mis- 
take the very possibility of a universe to hang a God 
over it, like a big man in the air, to overlook, and inter- 
fere, and see that our children do not burn themselves. 
There is the fang of the serpent and the claw of the 
tiger — I suppose these gentlemen would have God draw 
both; and we must not be incommoded in summer with 
nudges on the Clyde. A creation is, by the very terms 
of it, the finite as the finite, externality as externality. 
Now, finitude as fmitude, externality as externality, 
brings with it its own conditions just as surely as the 
triangle involves its own necessity of two right angles, or 
parallel lines, theirs never to meet. To have light you 
must put up with shade, and to have warmth you must 
submit to cold; you cannot have a right hand unless 
you have a left. All in the phenomenon is contradiction, 
and it cannot be otherwise if there is to be a phenomenon 
at all. The same >tiv>> that would take us to the sun 
baulks for ever our approach to it. If you draw close 
to me, I embrace you as my friend ; but if you draw 
closer still, I repel you as my enemy. Were attraction 



alone in this universe, things would be reduced to a 
mathematical point; and were repulsion all, there would 
he nothing but a blank. There cannot be union without 
disunion, nor this without that. These and other such- 
like contrarieties, infinitely, are the terms on which you 
have a finite universe, and alone the terms on which you 
possibly can have it. If you will be, then you must be 
in the stress of adversatives. The single necessity of 
the necessity to be is its own opposite — contingency. 
And what does that amount to ? It amounts to this : 
Destroy evil and you are straightway felo de se, you have 
committed suicide ; or, what is the same thing, abolish 
contingency, which is at once the sole source of evil and 
the secret of the universe — abolish contingency and you 
abolish existence, you destroy what it is to exist. When 
all is considered, I fancy we have but little business to 
set so much store by all these " racking pains," which 
Hume enumerates, of " gouts, gravels, megrims, tooth- 
aches, rheumatisms." The toothache alone is certainly 
bad enough ; but I do not see that we have any right to 
make such a noise about toothache, were it only for our 
friends, the dentists ! I suppose Hume here would say, 
as he literally does say, " If you feel not human misery 
yourself, I congratulate you on so happy a singularity. 
Others, seemingly the most prosperous, have not been 
ashamed to vent their complaints in the most melan- 
choly strains. Let us attend to the great, the fortunate 
Emperor Charles V., when, tired with human grandeur, 
he resigned all his extensive dominions into the hands of 
his son. In the last harangue which he made on that 
memorable occasion, he publicly avowed, that the greatest 
prosperities which he had ever enjoyed had been mixed with 
so many adversities that he might truly say he had never 
> njoyed any satisfaction or contentment. But did the 
retired life, in which he sought for shelter, afford him any 


greater happiness! If we may credit his son's account, 
his repentance commenced the very day of his resigna- 
tion." Gibbon, too, would seem to join his master here, 
and only repeat the story. Ee transcribes "an authentic 
memorial which was found in the closet of the deceased 
caliph," the great and glorious Abdalrahman III.: "I 
have now reigned above fifty years in victory or peace; 
beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and 
respected by my allies, liiches and honours, power and 
pleasure, have waited od my call; nor dor- any earthly 
blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity. In 
this situation I have diligently numbered the days of 
pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot : 
they amount to fourteen. man, place not thy con- 
fidence in this present world ! " Nor are these all. 
Septimius Severus was certainly one of the most suc- 
cessful Roman emperors, and even he sighs out, "Omnia 
fui et nihil expedit ! " 

These are what are called the lessons of history; and 
Samuel Johnson, in his SegJu d, Em juror of Ethiopia, and his 
Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia, drives them well home. Hut 
it seems to me that if these mighty sovereigns had been 
content with health, and not perpetually longed for honey, 
" the mere sweetness in the mouth " — if they had counted 
the days in which they were absorbed in human action, 
which is alone The Good, they might have found their 
" fourteen days" sufficient to eke out the full sum of their 
miseries. I, for my part, when tired of all these tears and 
groans, and this litany of woes, am apt to cry. Let me get out 
of this eternal whine, which, the brave Wordsworth tells 
us — 

" Erebus disdains ; 
Calm pleasures there abide— majestic pains!" 

Gibbon is honest enough, in the end, to speak in this same 

sense. " If I may speak of myself." he owns, " mij happy 


hours have far exceeded, and far exceed, the scanty numbers 
of the caliph of Spain." And even Hume, in the person 
of Cleanthes, who certainly speaks then as Hume the 
man, is obliged to say, " I can observe something like 
what you mention of misery in some others ; but, I con- 
fess, I feel little or nothing of it in myself, and hope 
that it is not so common as you represent it," And it 
is not so common ! The misery that is, is largely on the 
part of people who have nothing to do. He who has 
work mostly never whines ; though I admit that some- 
times Thomas Carlyle unduly whines over his. Consider 
the population as a whole ! Surely the bulk of it cannot 
be called unhappy ! The carpenter, the joiner, or other 
such under his paper cap, his feet in dry shavings, a 
roof overhead, and his body warm, spends the day to the 
whistle of his plane and the jokes of his comrades. The 
shoemakers, how they prattle in a semicircle to the 
tap-tap of their hammers, as the tailors on their shop 
boards to the snore of their needles ! If you walk out 
some country road, say at four o'clock of the dawn, you 
will find the weaver in his village, pipe in cheek, pacing 
cheerfully before his door, and snuffing up the morning 
air with uncommon satisfaction. Just so, and so early, 
in a street at Paris, I have seen the chiffonier, chief of 
the proletariate, him, too, with his pipe in the morning air, 
quite gaily whip up, with his hook, over his shoulder, 
into'the basket on his back, some rag from the dust-heap 
before him. At their work they are all quite cheerful — 
workman of the proletariate or workman of the trade. 
What a strong, healthy fellow is the navigator on the 
line, picking with pick, or shovelling with shovel, 
always effectively, but always, too, with a stroke so 
tempered and temperate, that it never moves a pulse ! 
There are spells of danger and difficulty to some ; but if 
a man in a state of nature is a hunter or fisher, and so 


as it were, at play, most of the employments of the 
population have still the interest of nature in them, and 
many of them its romance. It does not belong to riches, 
nor to honours, nor to titles to give happiness. Happiness 
is in the mind; ami it will come more readily into the 
mind of a rag-picker than into the mind of a lord at 
a horse race. Happiness, at least the possibility of 
happiness, so far as it depends on the mind, is, there 
may be reason to think, not so unequally meted to tin- 
most part of mankind, and for the most part of their 
lives. People are apt to mistake what, in regard to 
happiness, another can do for us. " She's gi'en me meat. 
she's gi'en me claes," says the " young thing'' in the song ; 
and that is about the total or the staple, the main and 
marrow, of what can be done for us from the outside by 
anybody. If any of us will look to the substance of our 
lives, we shall find that that staple contains all the realities 
and strict matters of fact either possible or necessary for 
our existence here. Whatever drawback may appear, 
we shall find that it comes from our own trick of com- 
parison. If we would only look to ourselves and our 
own means of enjoyment, we would be contented enough ; 
but, unfortunately, we must look to others ; and that is 
the shadow that falls for us with a blight on all we 
have, let it be in itself what bounty soever. T have 
been accustomed to think that a capable handicraftsman 
who comes home of an evening, pleased with his day's 
work, to a tidy wife and tidy children, and a cosy meal. 
by a cosy tire, in his room and kitchen, or two rooms and 
kitchen, with a chest of drawers and an eight-day clock, 
and a book to read, need not envy any prince in the 
land, and still less any lord at a racecourse, — were il not 
for comparison. Nature is there read}' at any moment 
to spread all her beauty before his eyes, all her wealth of 
hill, ami dale, and champaign. There is music in the 


air ; there is glory in the heavens ; and every tiniest 
shell upon the shore has its own charm of a loveliness 
of form that was never due to sexual selection. Of 
course, I do not deny that sex enters in some way 
there too ; but I am quite sure that never mollusc 
female loved mollusc male, or mollusc male, mollusc 
female, for the beauty of his or her shell, in the 
same way as a woman may fall in love with a man 
for the beauty of his coat, or he with her for the 
beauty of her habit. I suppose it never occurred to 
Mr. Darwin that the tailor might have something to 
do with sexual selection, at least so far as some 
anthropoids are concerned ! 

So it is on the whole, then, with the question of evil 
in the world. In short, let Hume harangue as he may, 
in his Parts X. and XL of these Dialogues, piling pain 
upon pain, and black upon black, human life remains for 
all that, even to the individual, a possession that pleases. 
Human life, of course, is but another name for work ; 
but that is not a fault ; that is rather a laud ; for the 
subject has the right of satisfaction in his work, and, 
according to philosophy, it is the quality of the universe 
to realize no less. 

Then as regards the complaints or objections about 
design itself, several of which it has been enough only to 
exhibit, it really does not appear in the end that Hume in 
his ninety pages of the Dialogues has added any strength to 
the argument of his nine pages of the Essays. That argu- 
ment generally rested on the single idea that, in ascend- 
ing from the world to God, we have no right to descend 
from God to the world with more than we took up. 
The inference to the cause lies in the effect alone ; or 
the argument from design gives the cause as equal to the 
effect, and we have no warrant to make it more. Of course, 
the reply is, just look to the effect. Can such effect 


as that, the universe namely, not warrant every 
supremacy that we name God? But what dominates 
] I nine are his own peculiar ideas — the very peculiar 
ideas which he has himself come to in regard to cause 
and effect. In the first place, Hume, as he says himself 
( Burton, i. i>7), " never asserted so absurd a proposition as 
that anything might arise without a cause;" still he 
did assert that, as regards any insight of reason, we have 
no warrant for connecting the effect with its cause, 
but our habitual experience of their customary eon- 
junction ; and that, consequently, so far as we see, 
anything may be the cause of anything ("the falling 
of a pebble may, for aught we know, extinguish the sun, 
or the wish of a man control the planets in their orbits "). 
That, no doubt, is Hume's contention so far ; for these are 
his own words. In the second place, however, Hume, 
in his reasoning against design, simply contradicts him- 
self, and unconsciously implies what principle of con- 
nection really exists between the cause and its effect. 
That is, he will allow in the cause which we infer, only 
such qualities as are contained in the effect. Say it is 
x we find in the effect, then, says Hume, it is just that x, 
and no more than that x, that you are to find in the cause. 
It is really very odd ; but Hume is never for a brief 
instant aware that in that he has answered his own 
cardinal, crucial, and climacteric question. The immediate 
nexus, the express bond, the very tie, which he challenged 
you, and me, and the whole world to produce, he actually 
at that very moment produces himself, holds up in his 
hand even, openly shows, expressly names, and emphati- 
cally insists upon ! That tie is identity. When Hume 
will allow no qualities in the cause but those that are 
found in the effect, that amounts to saying the x that 
virtually is the cause is the same x that virtually is the 
effect. And what is that but the assertion of a relation 


of identity between the cause and the effect ? Now, indeed, 
that as much as that is manifest, explicit, and express, you 
will be astonished how often it has been said — almost in 
terms, if unconsciously — positively by every philosophical 
writer you can possibly take up. Nevertheless, so far as 
I know, it was only first consciously said in Europe by 
George William Frederick Hegel, and first consciously 
repeated in English, and for the first time of all as con- 
sciously directed to the problem of Hume, in the little 
essay named As Regards Protoplasm. And I suppose we 
owe it all only to the Hindoos. Hegel was well acquainted 
with the writings of Colebrooke, and in his pages he found 
the Hindoos to say : " The nature of cause and effect is the 
same : " "a piece of cloth does not essentially differ from 
the yarn of which it is wove ; barley, not rice or peas, 
grows out of barley-corns ; rice is in the husk before it is 
peeled ; milk is in the udder before it is drawn ; and milk, 
not water, is taken to make curds," etc. etc. For I might 
quote much more from the same author to the same 
effect. And, in reality, is it not precisely the same import 
when Hume says, and when it is commonly said, like 
effects prove like causes ? The wonder is that Hume, in 
spite of this natural conviction, existent in all of us, of 
"a more real and intimate connection between the cause and 
its effect than habitual sequence," to use the words of Sir 
John Herschel — the wonder is that Hume brought over 
so many to his way of thinking, that to him was sport 
only. Burton in his Life of Hume (i. 82), as late as 1846, 
has these astounding words in a note : " This refers to the 
notion, which now may be termed obsolete, at least in 
philosophy, of an inherent power in the cause to produce 
the effect ! " There is no power in the cause to produce 
the effect — there was no power in God to create the world ! 
Hume could be consistent in his theories, whatever his 
conviction. Burton himself points out that it was only 


consistency led ITunie to "the annihilation of the notion 
of power." as well in the immaterial as in the material 
world (i. 275). "As we cannot find in physical causes 
any power to produce their effect, so when a man moves 
his arm to strike, we have no notion of any power being 
exercised!" There is such a thing as compression, 
surely: and it is a force, a power: if we compress a full 
sponge we drive the water out ; and this compression 
involves in the body compressing, here the hand, a certain 
strain or stress, which we feel, and which, eonsecpuently, 
we indentify with power. Prick a blown bladder, and 
the fluent air, under pressure of the elastic membrane 
(as of a hand), escapes. There is a rationale in the whole 
process. Surely there is a reason why a garter supports 
a stocking, or a button fastens a coat! To say that the 
hammer that knocks a nail in to the head can lie reasonably 
regarded, not as a force, but only as an antecedent ! It is 
really wonderful how Brown, and so many others, could 
accommodate themselves to such extravagant ideas. Why, 
even Dugald Stewart, despite his master Reid, must go 
over to Hume, and very glaringly stultify himself. Burton 
epiotes (89) him to the effect that Hume's theory "lays 
the axe to the very root from which Spinozism springs," 
and this because " physical causes and effects are known to 
us merely as antecedents and consequents" and " the word 
necessity is altogether unmeaning." Stewart thus intimates 
that Spinoza's system is, as he says further, " nothing- 
better than a rope of sand,"andfor the single reason that it is 
founded on the necessity of cause and effect. Now-a-days, 
in the words of Erdmann (ii. 49), the opinion of philosophy 
is, that Spinoza "knows not any actual causal connection, 
but only conditionedness in consequence of a Vbrbegriff," a 
pre-notion ; and surely that is absolutely Hume on both of 
his sides, at once as negative of causal power and as 
affirmative, instead of the relation only of antecedent and 


consequent. Dugald Stewart has not been quite happy 
here. And, in general, it was sufficiently simple on his 
part, after all that Reid had said, seriously to adopt, almost 
as a philosophical truism, what Hume himself, who pro- 
posed it, had really only sceptically played with, certainly 
at last, and for little else than the sceptical conclusion 
that, viewing our limited faculties in that and other respects, 
it is in vain to expect " ever to satisfy ourselves concerning 
any determinations which we may form with regard to the 
origin of worlds, and the situation of nature from and to 
eternity " {Enquiry, xii., iii.). It was on the eve of his 
death, and in allusion to his own health, that Hume himself 
said, " A wind, though it extinguishes a candle, blows up a 
fire ; " and that contains the whole case. So much power 
has this effect: so much more, that. It is decidedly in 
contradiction of his own propos that " anything may be the 
cause or the effect of anything," that Hume, against 
design, asserts it as a fact that thought follows matter, but 
not matter thought : " we see every day," he says, " the 
latter arise from the former, never the former from the 
latter ; " " ideas are copied from real objects, and are 
ectypal, not archetypal." That is a vast matter that is 
involved, a question of questions, and goes far beyond 
the ideas of Hume. In the meantime, we may be reminded 
of Erigena's ruling, that it is the notion that is the original 
of things, and not things of the notion. Of course that is 
not the doctrine we are accustomed to of late. What we 
hear now, rather, is much rotund oratory about the physical 
basis, that there is an original matter. Well, perhaps there 
is, though I cannot say it has ever been held up to me or 
anybody else. But this I can say, that, hold up an original 
matter when you may, you will never hold it up without 
an original form ; which original form, too, is the original 
first and furrow of the whole business. I get it from 
liabelais even that, forma mutata, mutatur substantia, the 


substance itself is dependent on its form. It is the form, 
namely, and not the matter, that is the valuable clement. 
Why, we know that even land, which, surely. Ls material 
enough, has its value in it&form, the form which the hand 
of labour has impressed upon it. At all events, we are 
evidently under no necessity to conclude with Hume or 
his belated followers, that matter is, in any respect, earlier 
than form. But, in fact, as is customary with Hume, it 
would seem in the end that he has been only at play. 
The very Fhilo in the I Halogues wlm makes all the sceptical 
objections, comes out at last with such an acknowledgment 
as this : " The beauty and fitness of final causes strike us 
with such irresistible force that all objections appear 
(what I believe they really are) mere cavils and sophisms 
. . . the Atheist, I assert, is only nominally so, and can 
never possibly be in earnest." And Cleanthes had already 
said before him : " The order and arrangement of nature, 
the curious adjustment of final causes, the plain use and 
intention of every part and organ, — all these bespeak in 
the clearest language an intelligent cause or author. 
The heavens and the earth join in the same testimony : 
the whole chorus of nature raises one hymn to the praises 
of its Creator." Would you not say here that David had 
suddenly grown poetic ? Even speaking in his own name 
and character, he is quite as explicit, and not much less 
eloquent " The whole frame of nature," he says in his 
Nat. Hist, of Beligion, " bespeaks an intelligent author — 
one single being who bestowed existence and order on this 
vast machine, and adjusted all its parts, according to one 
regular plan or connected system." " Look out for a 
people entirely void of religion," he concludes, and " if you 
find them at all, be assured that they are but few degrees 
removed from brutes ! " 

In fact, there can be no doubt that it was only super- 
stition Hume hated, and nut religion : " You. ( 'leauthes, are 


sensible that, notwithstanding the freedom of my conver- 
sation, and my love of singular arguments, no one has a 
deeper sense of religion impressed on his mind." And 
when this is said for Philo, it is said for Hume himself. 
His reverence of true religion, indeed, he has not been 
slow, again and again in his own person, to express. There 
was nothing covert in the man : much obloquy he might 
easily have escaped by simple silence, or by speech more 
guarded ; but he was a big man, and he spoke free : he 
scorned to be seen of men otherwise than with face to the 
front. He was loyal in his nature, generous. Almost as 
much as in his own, he rejoiced in the fame that competed 
with it. Letters were his only weakness. "When he 
ought to have been " poring over Voet and Vinnius, Cicero 
and Virgil were the authors he was secretly devouring." 
He was still a boy when he wrote, " I could not quit my 
pretensions in learning but with my last breath." It is a 
satisfaction to know that, naturally, such zeal and devotion 
cannot be without their reward. Hume is a peer only to 
the highest of his people, to Scott, and Burns, and Carlyle. 
His best works will endure. For perspicuity and ease of 
How, his history is as yet unsurpassed in the language. 
Its " careless, inimitable beauties of style " made Gibbon, 
when he read, lay down the book in despair. One cannot 
but hope that its author, wherever he is, has the satisfac- 
tion of reflecting that not a single Scoticism more remains 
for the weeding. Though so eager to be an Englishman 
in his writing, what a Scot of the Scots he was in his speech, 
looks, person, and the pride of his heart ! He was simply 
so common Scotch, indeed, that, when the servant girl 
breathlessly broke in upon him to say, Somebody had 
chalked St. David Street upon his house, he could only 
ejaculate, "Never mind, lassie, many a better man has been 
made a saint of before ! " And if we cannot discover much 
point in the phrase, we can all recognise how like it is to 

bume's house. 285 

the great, stout, simple sort of Dandy Dinmont Scotchman 

that he was: And I hope now you will go and look at 
that house, the old-fashioned one at the corner of St. 
Andrew Square, that, in St. David Street, stood alone at 
first. Hume himself had it built, and he lived in it the 
last five or six veins of his life. Go and look at it, and, 
as you look, believe that, whatever his shortcomings and 
deficiencies, it is still with love, and respect, and gratitude 
that we ought to think always and at any time of the 
" good David." 


Transition, Hume to Kant — Effect of Kant on natural theology— 
The centre of Kant's thought — Hume led to this— Causal 
necessity — That necessity objective — Still in matters of fact — 
Relations of ideas — Hume on one side, Kant on the other, of 
the dilemma — Hume quite as Reid, on natural necessity — 
But what the explanation to intellectual insight — Synthetic 
addition — Analytic implication — Change — Kant's explanation 
is, There are a priori syntheses native to the mind — The whole 
Kantian machinery in a sentence — Time and space — The twelve 
categories and the three ideas — A toy house — A peculiar 
magic lantern — A psychology — A meta physic— Analysis of 
the syllogism for the ideas — Simple apprehension missed — An 
idea — The ideal — The teleological proof. 

There can be no straighter or nearer transition than 
from David Hume to Immanuel Kant. The latter does 
himself claim the former as his direct and immediate 
predecessor. This is true, too, not only in the reference, 
generally, to philosophy, but in that, particularly, to the 
special subject presently before us. Perhaps not in 
English, but certainly in translations, Kant (very 
evidently) is perfectly familiar with Hume's main doc- 
trines in regard to the existence of a God ; nor do his 
own results differ much from those of his forerunner, 
otherwise than in weight and authority. It was princi- 
pally because of these results, namely, that the Allcszer- 
malmender, the everything - to - pieces - pounding Kant, 
received his title. Kant's countrymen, unlike their 
neighbours, the French, are not reputed to be parti- 
cularly versatile ; nevertheless it seems certain that, not 


long after reading his three chapters on the impossibility 
of each of the three proofs for the existence of God, 
must of them who were at least of the same guild with 
Kant, suddenly ceased, or were even ashamed, to mention 
the subject. Fur them the whole science of Natural 
Theology had, in a moment, passed silently into the 
limbo of the lost. And so it is that it is of greater 
importance for us to put to scrutiny the relative views 
of Kant than even those of Hume. At all to effect this 
with any satisfaction, however, requires that we should 
preliminarily know at least the spirit of the system from 
which these views naturally take origin. That may 
sound ominous ; but I do not know that what is con- 
cerned may not be put simply and intelligibly enough. 

The centre of Kant is, to say so, the a -priori — 
those elements of knowledge, those elements of the 
ordinary perception of things, that are native and proper 
to the mind itself, even before, or independently and in 
anticipation of, any actual experience of these things. 
That is what is meant by pure reason. Our minds shall 
be at birth, not, as with Locke, so many tabulae rasae, so 
many mere blank sheets for things to write themselves 
into, so many empty bags or sacks for things to occupy ; 
but, on the contrary, they shall be, already, beforehand, 
rich quarries, filled, as it were, with the needful handles 
and cues of all things. What led Kant to this was 
Hume. Hume, as we know, took the cause as one thing 
and the effect as another; and holding them out so, 
apart, challenged any man to show any principle of 
union between them. Without experience of the fact, 
it is impossible to tell that gunpowder will explode, or 
a loadstone attract. Consequently it is only by the 
custom of experience that we know the effeel of the one 
on iron, or the consequence on the other of a spark. 
Kant was deeply impressed by such examples and the 


general challenge of Hume. He admits himself that he 
brooded over the problem concerned for " at least twelve 
years;" and of that brooding I think it is possible to 
detect traces as early as the year 1766, or fifteen years 
before the publication of his Kritik of Pure Reason. 
What, in the end, prevented Kant from agreeing with 
Hume in his rationale custom, was perception of the 
nature of the necessity which was involved in the 
problem. That necessity Kant saw was not a subjective, 
but an objective necessity. The necessity by which, 
when I think A, I cannot help thinking also B, C, D ; 
or when I think 1, then also 2, 3, 4 — that necessity, as 
being only one of habitual association in me, is a sub- 
jective necessity. But, when I think of an eclipse of 
the sun as following the intervention of the moon, I do 
not think of a necessity subjective, a necessity for no 
other reason than habitual association of my own. On 
the contrary, I think of a necessity objective, of a 
necessity that exists independently of me, and without 
any reference to me or my feelings in any way. In 
short, I know that the moon, coming between me and 
the light, casts its shadow upon me, and must cast its 
shadow upon me ; which is an event and an entire 
resultant necessity, utterly independent of me, and of 
any way in which I may be pleased to regard it. In 
the same way, when I see a bridge overthrown by a 
river in flood, it is impossible for me to think the 
necessity involved to proceed from custom — to depend 
on the influence of custom. I cannot think that neces- 
sity a subjective necessity in me, but, on the contrary, 
an objective necessity in the facts themselves. This, 
then, is what occurred to Kant in face of the contention 
of Hume. But then he was obliged to admit at the 
same time that Hume was right in pointing out that all 
examples of causality were but matters of fact, in regard 


to which, as matters of fact, we know that they are, or 
are as they are, but not that they must be. Cork floats, 
coal burns, etc. etc. ; we know the fact or the event ; 
but we did not know the fact or the event in any case 
until we tried it; then and then only we knew that the 
propositions, cork floats, coal burns, were true : but we 
did not know, and we know not now, that they must be 
true. Cork might not float, coal mighl not burn: we 
see no necessity for cork to float or for coal to burn. 
But all examples of causality are just such facts as the 
matters of fact that cork floats or coal burns ; and yet 
the proposition concerned in every one single example of 
causality is as necessary, as apodictically necessary, as 
any proposition dependent on what are called relations 
of ideas, and which, accordingly, is intuitively known to 
carry or involve the necessity in question. It was pre- 
cisely this peculiarity that struck both Hume and Kant. 
Doth saw that all examples of causality were only known 
by experience ; and both saw that they all brought with 
them a suggestion of necessity. Both, then, further, 
immediately asked how was this ? for both knew that ex- 
perience was only competent to say this thing or that thing 
is so, not this thing or that thing must be so. But both, 
putting the same question, in the same circumstances, and 
with the same knowledge, came to an answer, each, which 
was the contradictory of the other. Hume said, As it is an 
affair of experience alone, it can be no affair of necessity. 
( )n the contrary, said Kant, As it is an affair of necessity, 
it can be no affair of experience alone. Hume had no 
objection whatever to the necessity in question being 
regarded by us as a natural necessity. He did himself 
regard it as a natural necessity. Neither did he object 
to the reference of it, as a natural necessity, to instinct. 
On the contrary, as a natural uecessity, he did himself 
so refer it. And Reid, consequently, in the case, might 



have profitably spared himself much gratuitous excitement. 
All that Hume insisted on was that, putting aside instinct 
and asking for an explanation, an intelligible reason, of 
the necessity we felt in the inference from the effect to 
the cause, or from the cause to the effect, he, for his part, 
could discover or detect none but the constant previous 
conjunction, nevertheless, that he was c^uite open to the 
better explanation and the better reason which another 
man, abler than himself, or more fortunate than himself, 
might have succeeded to obtain. That for Hume is his 
whole relative position ; and that for Hume is the whole 
relative position that remained the same till the end of 
his life. Not, indeed, till some five years after the 
death of Hume was there heard in reply to his challenge 
the answer of Kant. That answer, as we have seen 
(Hume, of the two elements concerned, having chosen 
experience for his fulcrum of support), took up its position 
ex adverse- on the ground left to it of necessity ; where 
the first movement of Kant was to point to this necessity 
as objective, not subjective, and withal as in its matter 
synthetic and not analytic. When you say, Every 
change has its cause, you feel that you say something 
that is as absolutely and necessarily true as when you 
say that a straight line between any two points is the 
shortest line. You feel also that you say something 
that is true, not for the same reason that it is true that 
All windows let in light, or that all peninsulas are almost 
islands. It is the very meaning of a window that it lets 
in light, and it is the very meaning of a peninsula that 
it is almost an island. These last are analytic propositions, 
for what you allege of the notion, the window, or the 
peninsula, is involved in the very notion itself — in what 
it directly means, namely. But the notion cause is not 
in the same way involved in the notion change. A 
change has a cause ; but a change is something on its 


own account, and does not mean a cause in the same 
way that a window means admission of light or a penin- 
sula approach to an island. The proposition of change, 
therefore, is no mere analytic or tautological proposition ; 
and its truth, while as certain as that of any such, is as 
certain also as the truth of any non - tautological or 
synthetic proposition, an example of which was the truth 
that, between any two points the straight line is the 
shortest. Straight is not short ; a straight line may be 
anything but short. The two tilings are perfectly dif- 
ferent; nevertheless the proposition brings them together 
into a certain identity. So two angles called right are 
not the same as the three angles of any triangle ; just as 
the two squares on the two sides are not the square on 
the third side of a certain triangle, and the parallelism 
of two lines is not their continuation into infinity. 
Nevertheless, the two notions respectively concerned in 
these three examples can be brought, however different 
they are each by itself, into a certain common identity. 
That now is the case with the proposition of causality. 
That every effect, or change, has its cause. The change 
is not the cause, and the cause is not the change. I 
may show you a lobster black, and, leaving the room, 
may return with it red. You see the change, then — a 
thing quite by itself; but, even if there be a cause, as 
you will certainly surmise, you do not yet know it. I 
may have plunged the lobster in a bath of acids, or 1 
may have boiled it, or I may have done some quite other 
unknown something to it. In a word, the change is one 
thing and the cause another, and to bring them together 
into a relation of identity is an act of synthesis, an act 
thai involves a synthetic process or a synthetic pro- 

Here now, then, we stand before Kant's problem. 
We may even assume Hume himself to be present, and 


to admit now that his answer was no answer to the 
necessity concerned, and that he is eager to hear Kant's 

Well, says Kant, I have got to find the source of a 
necessary truth that is not analytic, but synthetic, and 
that at the same time is not due to experience. What 
not due to experience means has been already explained. 
There is no particular causation, no particular example 
of causality that is not due to experience. The indenta- 
tion of a cushion by a bullet is an example of causality, 
but it is known only by experience. So it is with all 
other examples, as the drifting of a ship in a stream, or 
the warming of a stone by the sun. All such things are 
just seen ; they are facts of experience — they are affairs 
of perception. Nay, the universal of causality, the 
universal proposition of causality, does itself involve eye- 
sight, does itself involve experience, does itself involve 
perception. Every change has its cause : it is impossible 
that we should have any knowledge of what a change is, 
unless we had experience of it. There are certainly 
intellectual changes, changes in the process of the under- 
standing, changes in the process of reason, changes in 
belief, etc. ; but any change, even any such change, is 
always known to us as an alteration, substantially, of 
consciousness, and an alteration of consciousness is just 
another word for experience. We can have an experience 
only when we have an alteration of consciousness : an 
experience is that — an alteration of consciousness. Even 
the universal of causation, then, every change has its 
cause, is a proposition that involves experience, is a 
proposition a posteriori — at least so far. But so far only. 
Otherwise, it is, in its vital force and virtue, a proposition 
a priori. That is the contention of Kant. A change must 
have a cause. This is a truth which, though synthetic, 
is also apodictic — necessary and universal namely. 


But, says Kant, necessity and universality are " sure 
criteria of a priori cognition." The proposition of 
causality, therefore, must be, as said, at least in its virtue, 
of an apriori place. The synthesis it implies, the synthesis 
of the two notions, of change on the one hand and of 
cause on the other, is not a result of experience, is not a 
result a posteriori ; for, in that case, the truth of it would 
not be apodictic, would not be universal and necessary, 
but a truth only as for the moment funnel, — a truth only 
probable, then, and a mere matter of fact. 

The question for Kant, now, then, plainly is — How is 
this ? How can the causal proposition be possibly 
a priori ? How can its validity be a product of mind, 
and wholly independent of any experience a posteriori '. 
It was this single question that led Kant in the end to 
his whole cumbrous, extraordinary, and incredible system. 
Simply to explain causality by innate principles of reason, 
native and original to the mind itself, Kant invented that 
whole prodigious machinery — merely for such explana- 
tion, Kant forced into the geometrical point of his own 
consciousness the infinitude of space and the infinitude of 
time, but grasped, throughout their whole infinitude, 
together both, by the tree of the categories, the enchanted 
and enchanting Yggdrasil, whose branches reduced the 
infinitude in which they spread into the very finite net of 
the schematism that held to our ears, and eyes, and 
fingers, nostrils, and palate their own sensations always. 
That was the monstrous birth to which Kant came at 
last after his fifteen years' sitting on the simple egg of 
Hume. And, all the time, we may fancy our Indian 
fellow-Aryans laughing at them both, and pointing, as 
seen, to nothing but identity ! 

That, then, was the course of Kant, The proposition 
of causality was to be placed within us, and made into 
a principle of the very mind. Strangely, somehow, the 


first step iii this operation was the internalization of 
space and time. We may think, if we like, space a 
boundless vacancy without us, and time a mighty throb 
which is ever at once throughout the whole of the 
boundlessness ; but we are only all wrong — we are only 
the victims of our own magical privilege and miraculous 
endowment. Newton himself might see " the floor of 
heaven thick-studded with patines of bright gold," and, 
in rapture of his awe, murmur to himself, " Since every 
particle of space is ahvays, and every indivisible moment 
of time is everyvihere, assuredly the Fabricator and Lord 
of all things will not be never and nowhere;" but he, 
too, would only deceive himself and stray. The truth is 
that all these unfathomable depths and illimitable 
spheres, with all their rich contents, are not without at 
all, are not in a heaven at all, but only in me. That, as 
I say, was the first step of Kant. Time and space were 
only forms of general sense really within, which still, at 
touch upon particular (special) sense, were thrown as 
mirages apparently without. Then all these touches of 
special sense — sensations namely — received into these 
mirages, were wrought up into perceptions, objects — the 
things of this external universe — and associated into rule 
and system by the twelve categories and the three ideas. 
To arrive at such results as these was a work of a long 
brooding — a fabrication of multiform piecing on the part 
of Kant. There, however, in the end it is, and all for no 
other purpose than to demonstrate that the necessity, 
which we all feel and know to lie in the connection of 
the cause with its effect, was not, as Hume mischievously 
argued, subjective and a posteriori, but, on the contrary, 
objective and a priori. To effect this, time and space 
were both retracted within us, and, while there, were 
acted upon in the peculiar succession of their parts by 
the function of judgment, named antecedent and con- 


sequent, till there issued, in category and schema, the 
full formed « priori machinery of cause and effect 
Fancy it all — it is like a toy-house, which children 
take piecemeal out of a box, and put together in play. 
There are first the two 1 > • 1 1 ^ and broad bits, time and 
space, folded together, but expansible, at once an 
indivisible centre and a boundless circumference. These 
are then fitted into another piece which is called 
p oductive imagination— productive, as so contrived, that 
is, that, motive of and in them, it can expand the sort of 
collapsed wings, the long and broad hits of time and 
space, at the same time that it receives into them the 
sensations which, come from where they may, gave it the 
hint. But, after all, our toy materials do not seem, on 
the whole, SO very well adapted tor the construction of a 
house. Let us conceive rather that we put them together 
into a magic lantern — a peculiar, a very peculiar mi 
lantern Well, the pieces called time and space shall be 
the slides, and imagination shall be the containing case 
of the lantern. Xow, to complete tin- case, with the 
slides in it. we make an addition from within to its top. 
And the piece which we fix there is the most curious 
piece of nil. It is a sort of cone — in shape, let us say, 
something like an extinguisher, hut as suited to a 
magic lantern, a very magical extinguisher. The little 
round top of the extinguisher, now itself at top of the 
whole case, shall he the reuniting unity and unit, as 
were, of the entire contrivance. Fancy it the light - 
the illuminating light of the whole arrangement — or 

fancy it rather — this little round top the eye that 
into the whole internality of the machine, and, as it were. 
throws its lighl down into it. Well, suppose this 
extinguisher in place as the lantern's top: the eye, that 
is placed there— a mere head— throws its -lance, its 
light, down into the sensations, the figures on the 


slides, or, what is the same thing, receives the light 
from them up into itself — but through lenses. Round the 
circle at the wide end of the extinguisher, as fixed in 
place, there are twelve lenses ; and these are the 
categories ! They are the functions of judgment, which is 
the hollow of the extinguisher, and collects and con- 
centrates all into the eye, or the mere bead at top. 
This eye, this bead at top, is the Pure, Primary, or 
Original Apperception, or, as it is otherwise called, the 
Synthetic Unity of Apperception. Now, then, that is the 
way Kant fancies vis to perceive this universe — that is 
the Transcendental Deduction of the Categories. Sen- 
sations, we know not how, but feigned to be due to 
things in themselves, — which things in themselves, 
whether as what, or as where, are utterly unknown to us, 
— sensations, I say, so due, appear, we know not how, 
on the slides of time and space in the material of the 
imagination ; and, carried up thence by judgment, 
through its twelve lenses of the categories, into the 
xinity of apperception, into the unity of self-consciousness, 
suddenly stand around us infinite, as this whole huge 
formed, ruled, and regulated universe ! To that grand 
finale and consummation, at least, Kant only adds three 
toy pieces further. They are what he calls the Ideas : 
the Psychological Idea, the Cosmological Idea, and the 
Theological Idea. They may be conceived — the three 
ideas may be conceived as three lenses, beyond the 
twelve categorical lenses, and fitted into apperception, the 
eye (I), or bead itself at top. There now, that is the 
whole, and that is not, after all, merely a deduction, the 
transcendental deduction — that is really the way in 
which Kant creates — positively makes for us this actual 
universe ! Kant, to construct this universe, takes 
absolutely nothing from the universe, but all from him- 
self. The sensations are his, the imagination is his, the 


categories are his, the Ideas are his, the Apperception is 
his — what is not his are alone, the unknown ghosts, the 
Things-in-themselves ; and for them he has not a vestige 
of a warrant : to his own self they are, by his own self, 
admitted and declared to be absolutely unknown ciphers, 
nonentities, which nowhere exist, or which exist, as idle 
suppositions, only in name. Nor is Kant less autocratic 
in his further and final step as concerns the Liens — God, 
that is, and our own soul, are only ideas, without corre- 
spondent objects or with correspondent objects only 
feigned — again ciphers, then ! — Not but that, in a 
practical point of view, we may grant them to be — 
what ? — postulates ! And that only means that, as 
moral beings, we are under a necessity to — suppose them ! 
In the prosecution now of our own immediate theme, 
it is to these three Ideas that we must turn at last for a 
more particular relative inquiry; and, in the first place, 
we are to understand that their function is not con- 
stitutive, but only regulative. This world, as we have 
seen, according to Kant, is only an affair of our own 
subjective affections, and our own subjective actions. Our 
own categories, acting on our own forms of space and 
time, and, through these, on our own sensations, bring all 
into our own unity ; and all so far is constitutive. It is 
the Ideas now come in as regulative; for their action has 
no part in the formation of things. To the formation of 
things there go only the sensations ; the spectra of space 
and time that receive the sensations ; and the categories 
which, under the unity of apperception, order, arrange, 
condense, and work up the sensations into the perceived 
objects of the perceived world in time and space around 
us. All these materials, then, are constitutive : and. in 
discussing them, we have realised a Psychology, a 
Philosophy of the Mind, an Erkenntnisstheorie. It has 
been left for the Ideas, especially in their moral reference, 


to realize a Metaphysic, the interests of which are God, 
the Soul, and the Freedom of the Will ; but all here is 
only regulative. If the categories give unity to things, 
the Ideas, on their side, give only a further degree of 
unity to the categories themselves, and are of no 
objective, but only of a subjective or internal application 
for the mind's own wants of order, arrangement, sim- 
plification, and unity. So far as they seem to effect more 
than that indeed, they are the sources of a necessary, 
natural, and unavoidable illusion. But we shall under- 
stand better what Kant means by that, if we refer, in the 
first place, to the peculiar means and method by which 
he describes himself to attain to these ideas. 

It was by a fortunate recollection of the doctrine of 
Judgment in ordinary school logic that Kant, after long 
meditation, examination, and trial, came to his categories 
in correspondence with the subordinate three moments 
under each of the four common and familiar rubrics of 
Quantity, Quality, Relation, and Modality. It was only 
by an extension, as it were, of this hint, that Kant passed 
from the section of the Judgment to the section of 
the Syllogism ; and from its three forms, Categorical, 
Hypothetical, and Disjunctive, extricated, at least to his 
own satisfaction, the three Ideas. The three parts of 
Logic, as w T e know, are Simple Apprehension, Judgment, 
and Eeason ; and it is probable that it was only by an 
unfortunate oversight that Kant, in passing forward, 
from Judgment (that first occurred to him) to Eeason 
(or the Syllogism) did not also pass backward to Simple 
Apprehension. If he had done so, he would have made 
good for himself the whole of Logic. As Reason seemed 
to yield and legalize the Ideas, Judgment the Categories ; 
so from Simple Apprehension he might have drawn an 
equal warrant and authority for his Pure Perceptions, 
Time and Space. In that case the system would have 


had the security of an entire science as basis of Bupport, 
and not the insecurity and unsatisfactoriness, instead, of 
a mere incomplete and partial reference. What im- 
mediately concerns as here, however, is only the [deas. 
How Kant came to his pure perceptions, his ^Esthetic 
namely, such as at is, or how, in his Analytic, he 

extricated from Judgment his Categori all that we 

leave on one side or behind us; we have only to do with 
his Dialectic, and with the manner in which he there 
extricates from the three forms of the Syllogism his 
three Ideas. This, as only technical and dry. I 
Kant, in fact, may be said here to extricatt only what he 
wants, and that, too, only by the most arbitrary and 
absurd torture for his own convenience. 

It is sufficient for us to understand at present that all 
such proceedings here of Kant are but respective pre- 
liminaries to the destruction of the proofs for the existence 
of God. And that they can be nothing else appears at 
once from the very definition of an Idea. " I understand 
by Idea," says Kant, "a necessary notion of reason, to 
which there can be given no congruent object in the 
senses." That is, though necessary notions of reason, 
the Ideas are objectively transcendent, or they su 
objects that have no existence in rerum naiura ; and are 
only subjectively transcendental — there, namely, with a 
calculated function of regulating the in!' if the 

understanding into ultimate unity and totality: they 
apply a collective, systematizing, or synthesizing 
dition to experience as a whole; but are no more than 
mental principles only illusively conceived respectively to 
denote things. Now, what is called the Transcendental 
Ideal, or God, can he no exception here; and we see at 
once that, with such presupposition, Kant can only 
declare all the proofs which have so long occupied us, 
merely null and void. In this declaration, however, he 


extends to us a scaffolding of demonstration, which we 
have now to see. We begin, as has been our way 
hitherto, with the teleological argument, the proof from 
design. And here Kant is at once profuse in com- 
pliments. He acknowledges that " This world opens to 
us an immeasurable spectacle of variety, order, designful- 
ness, and beauty ; " that the consequent proof " has its 
existence from the study of nature, and takes thence ever 
new force ; that, accordingly, " it raises our belief in 
a Supreme Originator up to an irresistible conviction ; " 
and that " it would be wholly in vain to seek to with- 
draw anything from its credit " — " one glance at the 
miracle of nature and the majesty of the All rescues 
reason from every too nice doubt, as from a dream." 
He had already praised Plato in the same reference, for 
that he, namely, " rightly saw in nature clear proofs of 
its origin from thoughts — plant, animal, the order of 
nature, and the plan of the whole cogently evincing that 
they were only possible on thoughts ; " and he goes on to 
exalt these ideas of the philosopher above the copy-like 
procedure of the physicist. In fact, in Kant's latest 
Kritik, that of Judgment, the lapse of years has only led to 
the recording, if possible, of still stronger expressions of 
consideration and respect for the argument from design. 
One would like to say, indeed, that Kant is only half- 
hearted in his opposition to it, and that he is only 
reluctantly compelled to the course he takes by the 
exigencies of his system. It is the very essence of that 
system, namely, that all objects are only formations of 
our own within us, to which design, consequently, as a 
modifying principle from without or from elsewhere, 
would seem not possibly to apply. Kant, on his system, 
can allow no source for the notion of design, but a sub- 
jective harmony, or a subjective "as if," a subjective 
maxim, that is within us, and not from without at all. 


Hence one is apt to be persuaded that, but for his 
system, Kant would be himself the most enthusiastic of 
'Ideologists. And so, consequently, only to his system is 
it to be imputed that he brings himself to make the 
objections which we have now to consider. It is from 
the standing-ground of the system that he remarks first, 
The question here can be readily 1 nought to a conclusive 
answer at once, "For how can an experience ever be 
given, which were adequate to an Idea ? Why, an Idea, 
(that is one of Kant's peculiar three), is just that that has 
nothing empirical correspondent to it." And we are 
reminded of his earlier words : " The Ideas (his Ideas, 
namely) are sophistications of reason's own : the wisest 
of men, even when aware and on their guard against it, 
can never wholly escape the illusion which is always 
there to mislead and mock them." "A necessary all- 
sufficient God is a Transcendental Idea so boundlessly 
great, so exaltedly high above everything empirical, that 
never in all experience were it possible to beat up 
matter for the filling of it." To seek in the conditioned 
for the unconditioned were in vain and without a clue; 
for were it found, even as found, it would be itself con- 
ditioned. And it is only in the conditioned that any 
such search can lie made; for the instrument of such a 
search is but the principle of cause and effect, a principle 
which is only in place in possible experience, and has no 
application beyond it. If even, then, what is sought is 
out from, and beyond, the conditioned, where find a 
possible bridge to it, since for all and any new acquisition 
of knowledge, we can only be referred to experience and 
the law of cause and effect that obtains in it ? 

It is here now that Kant, passing from his own 
peculiar views, enunciates that respect for the teleol 
argument which we have already seen ; but, even while 
commending it and bidding it God-speed, he cannot 


accept its claims — the claims of this argument to 
apodictic certainty : he will attemper and rebate these 
claims to a proper moderation and modesty. And he 
begins by stating it in what to him are its four moments : — 
1. " Everywhere in the world there are to be found 
evident signs of an arrangement on express intention, 
carried out with great wisdom and in a whole of in- 
describable variety of content, as well as of unlimited 
magnitude of extent. 2. This designful order is quite 
adventitious to the things of this world, and attaches to 
them only extrinsically. 3. There exists, therefore, a 
wise and high being who, as an intelligence, must, with 
free-will, be cause of this world. 4. The unity of this 
cause may be inferred from the unity of the world in the 
reciprocal relation of its parts." That must be admitted, 
on the part of Kant, to be only fair statement. He then 
alludes to the possibility of a cavil in respect of natural 
reason when, from the mere analogy of certain pro- 
ductions of nature with those of man, in houses, ships, 
watches, etc, we conclude to just such a causality for 
these natural productions as well — a will and understand- 
ing, namely ; thus referring to another cause the inner 
possibility of " free-working nature itself (which perhaps 
alone gives possibility to all art and even reason)." 
With no more than allusion here, and just the hint that, 
peradventure, his own transcendental critique might, if it 
chose, subvert all such reasoning, he passes on to his 
own formal objections to the main argument itself. And 
of these the first concerns form as distinguished from 
matter. The argument from design, that is, founds 
wholly on the form, which seems to have been added to, 
or infused into things, so that, as means to ends, they 
appear to constitute a single series and system of final 
causes. That form, these connections seem independent 
of the things themselves : they (the latter) themselves, 


and in themselves, are not such that were they nol 
members, native members, essential members of the series 
and system we see, they would contradicl themselves. 
The contrivance, that is, the designfulness, does not 
depend on things in their matter, but only in their form. 
What agency seems to be operative, consequently, is thai 
of an architect or artificer who may be responsible for 
the form, the adaptation, which has been given to things, 
but not as Creator from whom derives the very mutter of 
which they, individually, or as a whole;, consist. His 
second objection, Kant's second objection in the same 
reference, is that, if you infer a cause from an effect, the 
former must be proportioned to the latter: you cannol 
impute to the cause more than the effect allows you. 
Now, who knows this world in its infinitude ? So far as 
the knowledge of any of us goes, the world is still 
limited, and we have no authority from our own know- 
ledge of the world to infer the omnipotent, omniscient, 
all-sufficient God whom we are all forward to assert. 
Accordingly, says Kant, it is not from the teleological 
argument that we come to that immeasurable conclusion 
of a God, but from an unconscious and involuntary shift 
— resort on our part to the cosmological and ontological 
arguments. The design of the teleological argument is 
the contingency of the cosmological argument ; and it is 
from that contingency we infer the existence of an 
absolutely necessary being, while it is from the influence 
of the considerations under the ontological argument that 
we come to the idea of an ens realissimum. of a being 
that is in himself limitless and the sum of all realities. 

And now we have before us the entile course of 
reasoning which Kant has instituted against the t. -leu- 
logical argument, partly from the point of view of the 
peculiarity of his own system, and partly from considera- 
tions which at least take on a more general aspect. The 


latter alone call for any special remark from us at 
present. In that reference, we may say of the objection 
in regard to form and matter, that Kant has forgot his 
own relative, or at least relevant, metaphysic. Notion 
without perception is empty : perception without notion 
is blind. This he said once, and it is identically the 
same principle that is potent and at work when we say, 
Form without Matter is empty, Matter without Form is 
blind. A matterless form would vanish, and a formless 
matter never even be. Either, in fact, is but an element 
of the other. Both together are the concrete truth; as 
much as an inside and an outside. Then as regards the 
objection that we can infer no more than an architect or 
an artificer, and that, too, only in the relative proportion, 
I fancy the answer will be in every mouth, It is precisely 
an architect or an artificer that we do infer, and precisely 
also in proportion of the work ; but just in proportion of 
the work, that architect and that artificer must be, and 
can only be, He that is; and whom there is none other 
beside, Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the 
beginning and the end. 


I hr cosmological proof — Contingency — Ah alio em and esse a st — 
The special contingency an actual fact in experience — This 
Kant would put out of sight — Jehovah — Two elements in the 
argument, experience and ideas — The generality of the 
experience — Also of the idea — Contingency is a particular 
empirical fact — Ens n -Only the ontological argu- 

ment in disguise — Logical inference— But just generally the 
all-necessary being of such a world-- Hume anticipated Kant 
— Why force analogy — Why transcend nature — No experience 
of such cause which must not exceed the effect— Hume's early 
memoranda— The "nest"— All Kant dependent on his own 
constant sense of school-distinctions — His entire world— The 
system being true, what is true?— The ontological argument- 
No thinking a thing will bring it to be— What it all comes 
to, the single threefold wave— Hegel — Middle Age view from 
Augustine to Tauler — Meister Eckhart— Misunderstanding of 
mere understanding — The wickedest then a possible divine 
reservoir — Adam Smith and the chest of drawers— Absurd 
for Kant to make reason proper the "transcendent shine"— The 
Twelfth Night cake, but the ehrliche Kant. 

The last lecture concerned the proof from design ; we 
come now to the other two, and first to that which is 
named Cosmological. As is known, the fulcrum of this 
proof is the peculiarity of existence as existence. Exist- 
ence, that is, as existence, is contingent. But this word 
has so many meanings, important meanings, — even, in 
philosophical application, crucial meanings, — that a little 
preliminary explanation in its regard may seem called 
for, and may prove useful. In a former part of the 
course wo had a contingency of things which almost 
meant chance. It is common knowledge thai events 



happen, which might have been foreseen and calculated; 
and it is equally common knowledge that other events 
happen which no faculty of vision or power of reason, 
omniscience apart, could either have foreseen or calculated. 
Xow, philosophically, that to me is, as proper quality 
and fundamental condition of things, the main contin- 
gency. I may walk the streets with whatever care I 
may ; but I may for all that slip on a bit of orange peel, 
and fracture a limb or dislocate a joint. Such con- 
tingency as that is our very element ; we pass our lives 
in it, and are never safe. The powers of nature threaten 
us from all sides, and we must wall them out. As I 
have already explained, this is the necessary and un- 
avoidable result of externality as externality. Then in 
passing from the one argument to the other, design was 
spoken of as contingency. This, however, is a use of 
the word not quite common in English, and was suggested 
for the moment to meet the language of Kant. Kant, 
that is, in order to reduce the teleological argument to 
the ontological, through and by means of the cosmo- 
logical, characterized the design which we see in things 
as zufdllig to them, contingent to them. And by this he 
meant that this ordering of things which we call design 
is not inherent in the things themselves, but something- 
added to them as though from without. Contingency, in 
this sense, is inessentiality, adventitiousness, extrinsicality. 
It is easy to understand that the order of the things on 
a dinner table is such inessentiality, adventitiousness, 
extrinsicality, contingency ; it is not inherent in these 
things ; it is something given to them — something 
zvfdllig. And we see so that at least the German word 
may, naturally and legitimately enough, be used in such 
sense and with such application. As for the English 
word contingent, if similarly used, the shade of meaning 
implied w T ill not really be found unintelligible or uncon- 


formable and misplaced. A third sense of contingent is 
proper to the cosmological argument which we have now 
in hand. The very fulcrum of that argument, in fact, 
lies in the word. Because all the things of this world 
are capable of being characterized as effects, we infer a 
cause for them. If no more than effects, they are 
unsupported in themselves, and seem bodily and miscel- 
laneously to fall. That is, they are contingent So it is 
that, in the very word, there lies the call for the argu- 
ment in question. The contingent, as an ah alio esse, 
necessarily refers to an esse that is a se ; what depends 
only must depend on something else. The cosmological, 
like the teleologieal argument, proceeds, therefore, from a 
fact in experience. Design is such fart, and so also is 
contingency — contingency in the sense of the unsupported- 
ness, the powerlessness of things in themselves. In the 
three arguments for the being of a God, we proceed either 
from the fact to the idea, or from the idea to the fact. 
In the ontologieal argument, namely, we reason from the 
idea of God to the fact of His existence, while in the 
cosmological and the teleologieal argument-, we reason 
from the facts of existence to the idea of God. What 
Kant misses in the ontologieal argument is the element 
of reality, existence, fact, or the element that depends on 
experience. It is in vain to look for such element, he 
avers, in mere ideas. His action with the two other 
arguments, again, is, so to speak, reverse-wise — to put 
aside this element — the element of actual fact, on which 
they, both of them, found. It is Kant's general object, 
that is, in regard to the reasoning for the existence of 
God, to reduce the teleologieal to the cosmological argu- 
ment and both to the ontologieal, which, as dependent on 
mere notions, he thinks that he will be at little pains to 

Kant himself states the cosmological argument thus: — 


" If something exists, then an absolutely necessary being 
must also exist ; but at least I myself exist : therefore 
there exists an absolutely necessary being." My exist- 
ence, namely, is contingent. It is no existence complete 
in itself and sufficient of itself ; it is only a derivative 
existence, and an existence in many ways dependent. 
Whether as derivative or dependent, it has its support 
elsewhere. It is unsupported in itself, powerless in 
itself, a house on the fall, a very terminable security. 
But I am no solitary case, I am no exception ; others 
are as I, and there is not a single thing in this universe 
that is not as the others. All are contingent, all are 
derivative, all are dependent ; they are all such that 
you postulate an originating and sustaining cause for 
them ; but any such cause — any terminal, final, and ulti- 
mate cause, it is impossible in the whole series of causes 
in the universe anywhere to find. Trace causes as you 
may, you must end always with an effect. Now, it is 
taking our stand on these facts that we involuntarily 
conclude to the existence of an absolutely necessary being 
that is the reason at once of the existence and support of 
all these things — of all these things which are so utterly 
unsupported and powerless in themselves. And so it is 
that the cosmological argument has been specially put in 
connection wtth the religion of power. Power, indeed, 
must have been one of the earliest feelings that, in view 
of this great universe of effects, surged up in the human 
breast. In the Hebrew Scriptures, for example, what 
an attribute is power ! Hence that sublimity in which 
the earth, the ball of the universe, is but as the footstool 
of Him who says, I Am that I Am. We have only to 
think of this to have it very vividly realized to us that 
the cosmological argument is founded in the depths of 
man's own soul. It is not an argument forced, scholastic, 
artificial, — it is not a thing of words ; it is religion to 


the peoplea That whole image of Jehovah and the 
;<>olof the universe is but the cosmologies] argu- 
ment itself in its sublimest and must natural form. 
Tin- contingenl universe is but the footstool to the 
absolute necessity of ( rod. 

We must turn uow, however, and see how Kant would 
deprive us of this rationality that we have, to sc . 
almost in <>ur very Mood. 

The eosmological argument, we may take it, stands 
at this moment before us thus: — Inasmuch as some- 
thing exists and contingently exists, there must exist 
also something that is absolutely uecessary. Of this 
argument Kant admits: That "it is based on experi- 
ence;" that "it is not led altogether d. priori;" thai 
it is called the eosmological proof, for this reason, 
that the world, from which it takes its name and on 
which it founds, '-is the object of all possible experi- 
Nevertheless, it is precisely this ground of 
experience which Kant would remove from it ; this, In 
his desire to establish it as a mere matter of void ideas 
only. There are thus in the argument two interests 
against both of which Kant turns. First, namely, there is 
the question of the experience; and, second, there is that 
of the ideas. On the first question Kant, as I have said, 
would put out of sight the experience; and, on the 
second, he would have us regard the necessary being 
that is concluded to, as a mere idea, and as a mere idea, 
further, that is only illicitly converted into the other 
idea of the ens realissimum, or Cod. Of these two 
operations Kant himself gives the description thus: 
"In this eosmological argument there come together so 
sophistical propositions that speculative n a 
3 to have excited here all its dialectical skill in 
order to effect the greatest possible transcendental false 
show:"' but he (Kant) will "expose a trick on it- part, 


— the trick to set up, in a masked form, an old argument 
for a new one, as though with appeal to the agreement of 
two witnesses, one, namely, of reason, and the other of 
experience, while all the time it is only the former that 
is present, having simply changed its clothes and its 
voice in order to pass for the latter as well." That 
on the part of Kant, plainly, is to the effect that the 
cosmological argument is but the ontological argument 
in disguise. What is alone concerned in it is the infer- 
ence from mere ideas, while the reference to experience 
is but an idle trick and an unfounded show. With 
that, I think, we may assume as substantiated what has 
been said in the assignment to Kant of two relative 
operations. So, now, of these in their order. 

Collecting, connecting, and reducing the various rela- 
tive clauses, we may take Kant's first objection to run 
somewhat in this manner :— The cosmological argument 
professes to take its ground on experience. This experi- 
ence, however, is indefinitely general : it proceeds from 
no single definite existence whatever ; and it attains to 
no single definite existence whatever. Kant's actuating 
motive in such propositions is, probably, again to be 
found only in his system. Nevertheless, he begins with 
a certain show of general argumentation ; and it is this 
we have first to see. 

So far as the indefinite generality is concerned, Kant's 
expressions are that the proof in question is only 
" referent to an existence given by empirical conscious- 
ness in general," and it " avails itself of this experience 
only to take a single step, namely, to the existence of a 
necessary being in general." One, of course, cannot well 
understand how a step, as a step, should be objected to 
because it is single. A single step may be true enough ; 
a step — any step — is not necessarily false because it is 
single. But the expression, probably, is merely inci- 


dental on the part of Kant, who has in hia eye, at the 
moment, only the immediate object of the step, " the 
existence, namely, of a necessary being in general;" 
and has no thought, perhaps, bul of the generality 
involved It may be asked, however, Are we the least 
bit worse off because the experience is a general experi- 
ence? The fact and basis of experience, it at least 
allows, in common with the other phrases which have 
been already quoted ; and the generality of an experience 
is not seen at once to be tantamount to its extinction. 
Surely, on the contrary, it is on its side the advantage 
lies; surely it is a great thing to say that we shall 
reach the same ((inclusion if you give US anything at all. 
You are only asked to allow the fact that something 
exists ; it is enough that you grant us any experience 
whatever; we are not particular what experience; just 
give us an experience of any kind — experience absolutely 
general if you like. The objection withdraws nothing from 
the argument ; rather, indeed, it only adds to it. Nay. 
what does Kant himself say? "It is something very 
remarkable," he naively admits, " that if it is presupposed 
that something, anything, exists, the conclusion cannot 
be escaped that something also necessarily exists." After 
all, then, generality as a drawback does not seem to hold 
even in Kant's own eyes. 

But there is another side to the generality — this, 
namely, that the necessary being inferred is also a 
generality. The alleged experience, Kant says, is only ;i 
step to " the existence of a necessary being in general." 
" but not demonstrating this necessity in regard of any 
particular thing"; "what sort of Eigenschaften, what 
sort of properties or qualities, the necessary being 
possesses, the empirical ground of proof is incompetent to 
declare." It must be some importation from his own 
system that Kant has in mind here when he objects to 


the argument as not leading to a one empirical object. 
Otherwise, surely, of all philosophers, Kant is the only 
one who has complained that he cannot clap an actual 
hand or eye on God ! How could God possibly be any 
particular experience,? The infinite is not the finite. 
But to take Kant as he speaks, he would seem to be 
unhappy and out of heart because, in reasoning to God, 
he fails to get in touch with some one empirical object, 
or the actual properties of some one empirical object. 
Are we to give up or despair of God, then, because He is 
not the Pillars of Hercules or the Gates of Gaza ? 

But, in the reference to generality, if it is not to be 
objected that we do not come to some particular, so 
neither is it to be objected that we do not start from 
some particular. Nay, if the experience we start from is 
in a certain way general, it is also, after all, in a certain 
way particular. That is, it is not from mere indefinite- 
ness, from mere experience in name, that we start, but 
from an actual fact, and actually definite in and of 
experience. We start from — the cosmological argument 
rests on — an actual, particular, empirical fact. Con- 
tingency is a fact ; contingency is particular ; contingency 
is empirical ; contingency is actual ; and it is from con- 
tingency that all our reasoning starts, and on contingency 
that all our reasoning rests. Kant has been no more 
able to quash or put out of sight contingency as a fact of 
experience in the cosmological argument, than he was 
able to quash or put out of sight design as a fact of 
experience in the teleological argument. And so long as 
such facts remain, the ontological argument, which rests 
wholly on ideas, cannot be used as a lever for the 
destruction of its cosmological and teleological fellows. 

But, now, to turn to Kant's second objection to the 
cosmological argument — that, namely, it was still only a 
trick when, in intromission with mere ideas, it converted 


the necessary being of the first part of the supposed proof 
into the ens realimmum, or supreme being, of the second 
part. Arrived once for all at the notion of the nea 
being, Kant intimates, we only look about us for whal 
other desirable qualities we suppose rach a being must 
have, in order to arrive at its own complete and perfect 
substantiation. These qualities are supposed to be found 
in the idea of supreme reality alone ; and so the neces- 
sary being at first hand is converted into the supremely 
real being at second hand. Kant goes on at 
length in the discussion of this matter. The better to 
expose the fallacy, he is even at pains to put the whole 
reasoning, as he alleges, in the technical syllogistic form. 
" All blind show is most readily detected," he saj 
we set it down before us in a scholastically correct 
shape." With all, however, sentence after sentence, 
phrase upon phrase, word upon word, and all the technical 
processes of the dryest school logic, it comes to this that 
the cosmological argument, having only pretended to 
reason from a ground of experience, has intromitted 
with ideas only, and has simply converted, fallaciously, 
the mere idea of a necessary being into the further idea 
of the all-reallest being; in short, as has been already 
said, the cosmological argument is no more and no less 
than the ontological argument in disguise. In Kant's 
own words, what the cosmological argument maintains is 
this: "The notion of the all-reallest being is the only 
notion whereby a necessary being can be thought; that 
is, there necessarily exists a supreme being;" and that is 
to Kant an ignoratio elenchi. We commit no fallacy, 
however, no ignoratio elenchi, if from one logically 
established proposition we only logically deduce another. 
Probably most people would be quite content with the 
.me proposition, and would give themselves little concern 
about the other. All-necessary, they might say, and all- 


reallest come pretty well to the same thing ; it is posi- 
tively enough that it should be either. But there is no 
difficulty in even logically deducing the one from the 
other. What has its necessity within itself is sufficient 
for itself, and is without dependence on another. That 
is, it is without dependence for its reality on anything 
else ; it is without any negation to its reality : it is the 
all-reallest ! The one proposition is simply contained in 
the other ; and we have no call to go to experience in 
search of it. Kant has simply forgot his own doc- 
trine of analytic propositions. As certain as (Kant's own 
example) the proposition — all bodies are extended — is an 
analytic proposition, the truth of which requires analysis 
only, and no resort to actual experience, so certain is it 
that the proposition — the all-necessary being is the all- 
reallest being — is no less an analytic proposition that, as 
such and so far, is independent of experience. The 
cosmological argument is sufficient within itself, and 
neither requires nor takes support from any other. But, 
in a general way, we are situated here just as we were 
with the teleological argument. Let the teleological argu- 
ment prove only a former of the world, then we say the 
former of such a world must have been its Creator. And 
let the cosmological argument prove only the all-necessary 
being of the world, then we say, the all-necessary being 
of all that contingency of the world must be, and can 
only be, what is reallest in the world ; and that, namely, 
is the Most High God. 

It would be unjust to Hume not to remark here that, 
though the German words and ways seem so very unlike, 
Kant, when he wrote, must have had before him all the 
three relative writings of the good David : the essay, 
namely, Of a Particular Providence and of a Future State, 
The Natural History of Religion, and the Dialogues con- 
cerning Natural Eelicjion. Much of what the German 


says had, in his own way, been already Baid by the - 
Thus Hume talks also of houses and ships, and conceives 
it only to force analogy to transfer it from things 6nite 
to Buch an unexampled infinite: it may be that for such 
powers and quality, Bays Hume too, we need not go be- 
yond nature or even matter itself We can only reason 
from experience, and experience has no locus standi on 
such an elevation. Then Hume's objection of the uni- 
verse being a singular effect, thai is, that we can only 
credit the cause with no more than we find in the effect; 
and that we cannot return from the cause as with new 
data t«» extended inference, — all thai is precisely what 
Kant means by the translating of absolute necessity into 
absolute reality. The young Hume in the early memor- 
andum book referred to by Burton (i 135) has (as we 
partly know) some excellent expressions in regard to the 
three proofs of the existence of a Ciod, which Kant, of 
course, had no opportunity of seeing, but which have 
their interest here. The first of these proofs runs, " There 
is something necessarily existent, and what is so is in- 
finitely perfect;" and the third, "The idea of infinite 
perfection implies that of actual existence." It is really 
very strange, but these two propositions suggest, nut too 
imperfectly on the whole, Kant's entire relative action, 
which is the complaint that the cosmological argument 
converts, first, necessary existence into infinite perfection, 
and, second, infinite perfection into necessary existence, 
thus placing itself at last only on the ontological argument. 
Kant follows up his general argumentation by indi- 
cating and shortly refuting what he calls "an entire nest 
of dialectical assumptions that is concealed in the cosmo- 
logical proof." The entire "lies!," however, may he said 
to be a construction of his peculiar system. Kant says, 
for example, that causality and the other principles of 
reasoning employed in the argument concern only the 


world of the senses and have no meaning out of it ; and, 
in each of the four heads which he enumerates, there 
appears nothing whatever else. That just amounts to 
the one averment peculiar to the system, that whatever, 
namely, is incapable of being actually experienced is 
nothing but a Hirngespinnst, a cobweb of the brain. As 
regards God, it is valid reasoning to Kant that in this 
world as he (Kant) has constituted it, there cannot be 
an actual object of the senses, named God ; and so God 
can only be an Idea, an idea of our own, and useful for 
us in giving a sort of convenient unity and arrangement 
to the house we live in. God is precisely that to Kant, 
and He is nothing more. 

All these wonderful constructions of Kant, toys of his 
own gluing, all spring from the constant sense of dis- 
tinctions that is the single life within him. Every reader 
of Kant, even the least familiar, must have memory of 
this. There is probably not a page of Kant in which he 
does not split up something into two distinctions — dis- 
tinctions to which he is apt to give contrasting Latin 
names, as the quid facti, and the quid juris, and actually 
thousands of others. Kant, in fact, is a very schoolmaster. 
He is constantly laying down the law — a law that con- 
cerns verbalisms only. If Kant is ever real, it is where, 
as in his Practical Kritik, he is occupied with Morals ; 
and even there I honestly believe that it would be quite 
possible to show that his very best findings are but 
artificial results of his pedagogic distinctions. Distinctions 
and artificiality are certainly both the levers and the 
materials of his theoretic system. Time and space are 
both within us, and in them there are our own sensations : 
these are the materials, and the only materials of per- 
ceptive knowledge ; and they become such by being in a 
twelvefold manner categorized into our self- consciousness. 
There are further, three Ideas, to be sure, but they are 

kant's entire world. 317 

only ideas — only ideas of order and arrangement for our 
own private use. Now that is really the entire world to 
Kant, and he has made it wholly and solely out of dis- 
tinctions in his own vitals. Does it give more reality to 
this soap-bubble of a universe that it hangs between two 
absolutely unknown aj's, mere algebraical xs, that are only 
supposed, only feigned, though named things in them- 
selves; the one on this side for sensation, and the other 
on that side for belief ? Never was the world so befooled 
by a system as it has been befooled by the system of 
Kant ; and the world has no excuse for itself, but that 
Kant had, with such perfect conviction, with such lumi- 
nous and voluminous detail, fooled himself into it. What, 
according to this system, are we to suppose truth to be ? 
If it (the system) is, what is there that is true ? 
The sensations are not true. Their truth is only 
unknown points in an unknown dark. Time and space 
are not true: they are only figments of my imagination. 
The categories are not true : they come from a tree, an 
Yggdrasil that has no roots, but again in me. The Ideas 
have no truth : they are mere illusions. And this me 
itself : it is but a logical breathing, a logical dot on a 
logical i. Where, according to this system, is there a 
single truth in the whole huge universe ? 

But we must come to an end with our consideration of 
Kant : we must turn at last to our final interest here : we 
must now see how Kant disposes of the ontological argu- 
ment. The form given to that argument, which we have 
seen from the early memorandum book of Hume, is, per- 
haps, as simple and short, and as good as any. " The idea 
of infinite perfection implies that of actual existence." 
Eeally the young Hume has put what is concerned there 
in its very best form. If you say you have the idea of 
infinite perfection, and yet that actual existence is not 
thought of in that idea, then you only contradict yourself. 


It would be a very strange all-perfection that yet was 
not. Kant, of course, has a good deal to say in the 
reference ; hut I know not that all he has got to say 
amounts to more than the objection that comes to every 
one. "We can think what we like, but no thinking of 
ours will make a thing to be ! It would be a fine thing 
if, only by thinking of the " dollars," in Kant's well-known 
illustration, we could have them ; but — We can all 
readily understand as much as that, and Anselm himself 
told us, It was one thing for a painter to think his 
picture and another thing to make it. So always when 
we think these easy thoughts in regard to this argument, 
we are thrown back to the question, Is it, then, a self- 
contradiction to think God as non-existent ; and for the 
reason that He is infinite, and not like a perfect island, 
or a perfect garden, etc., which, with whatever perfection, 
are still things finite ? Is God such and so different 
from all else, that if we think Him, that is, truly think — 
Hi m — then we will see that He is ? Perhaps to put the 
questions in that manner is to put them rightly. But 
if so, then the conclusion is — that we are all referred to 
ourselves. What we are asked to do is to think God ; 
but if it is only in the actual thinking that the truth 
emerges, then each of us must do that for himself ; not 
one of us can do that for another. Of course, Anselm 
develops the matter in a formal syllogism, and into a 
self-contradiction on the negative side. But, so put, we 
cannot help suspecting that we have to do with words 
only, and we remain unmoved. We still ask how think- 
ing — which will assure us of the existence of nothing- 
else — will yet assure us of the existence of God ? That 
is the question ; and we see that Kant's objections — all 
summed up in the illustration of the dollars — are beside 
the point, are out of place. The whole matter is for us 
to think God. But what is God ? — what is this that we 


are to think? Now, in attempting to answer that 
question, we do think God — we just do what is required. 
And what do we find for result \ We find that we have 
thought this universe into its source — we find that we 
have realized to thought, as a necessity of thought, the 
single necessity of a one eternal, all-enduring principle 
which is the root, and the basis, ami the original of all that 
is. In fact, we may say that when this task of thought 
is put upon us, we just think, in a moment, and at once, 
and altogether, the teleologies! argument, and the cosmo- 
logical argument, and the ontological argument, each and 
all, summarily, into God. And with that acknowledg- 
ment we have the reality and the substantiation of 
Natural Theology: our whole task is accomplished — the 
whole Gifford problem solved — in a turn of the hand ! 
What, in effect, are the three arguments in proof of the 
existence of God '. There is a triplet of perpetual 
appearance and reappearance in the ancient Fathers of 
the Church. It is esse, vivere, intelligere; and these are 
but three successive stages of the world itself. To live 
is to be above to be, and to think is to be above to live. 
All three are at once in the world ; and though they 
oiler hands, as it were, each to the other, each is foi 
itself. So it is that the Three Proofs are but the single 
wave in the rise of the soul, through the Trinity of the 
Universe, up to the unity of God. And, with such 
tlu nights before us, it will be found that the ontological 
proof will assume something of reality, and will cease to 
be a mere matter of words. The very thought of God is 
of that which is, and cannot not-be. 

It is undoubtedly with such thoughts in his mind that 
Hegel declares the ontological proof to be alone the proof. 
To him, manifestly, it was not an affair of Barbara, Celarent, 
Barolco, Bokarila, and the rest in mere words: it was an 
actual mood of mind, a veritable process of the soul, a 


movement of spirit to spirit, and a revelation of God to 
man. We might almost say that this alone is the meaning 
of the work of Hegel — that in this alone he is in earnest 
— that, in philosophy and in religion, as struggling to 
this, he would present himself almost literally on every 
page. He complains that recent theology speaks rather of 
religion than of God ; whereas, in the Middle Ages, the 
whole interest was to know God. What is now only 
a matter of subjective information was then objectively 
lived. The true relation is that of spirit to spirit. The 
finite spirit, in separating itself from the mundane, or in 
gathering up the whole mundane into its essential reality 
and truth, rises into unity and community with the 
infinite spirit, and knower and known are one. In that 
one intensity, where difference is at once identity and 
identity at once difference, man is conscious of himself 
in God, God is conscious of Himself in man. That 
really is what the ontological proof is to Hegel. Spirit 
gives testimony of itself to spirit ; and this testimony is 
the true inner nature of spirit. " God," says Hegel, " is 
essentially self-consciousness;" and it is only when man has 
realized himself into union with God, only then also has 
he realized his true free will. Readers of the history of 
philosophy know that Hegel is by no means singular in 
these views : they are common and current in the Middle 
Ages from Augustine to Tauler. Meister Eckhart alone 
has passage after passage which, in intensity and ecstasy, 
leaves nothing for Hegel. " The eye," he cries, " with 
which God sees me, is the eye with which I see Him ; 
my eye and His eye are one ; in righteousness, I am 
cradled in God, and He in me. If God were not, I were 
not ; if I were not, He were not ; but there is no need 
to know this ; for these are things easy to be misunder- 
stood, and which are only to be comprehended in the 
spirit." As to this of misunderstanding, Hegel, too, says, 


at least in effect : If you speak such things in the terms 
of the understanding, you will look in vain to find them 
again: If you make an ordinary generalization of such 
doctrine, and describe it in common words as the tenet 
of the knowing of Man in God and of God in Man, you 
have shut yourself out from it; you are on the outside, 
and have closed the door on yourself. These things are 
only in the inmost being of a man to be struggled and 
worked up to. Another ready objection is — pantheism. 
But if there is an assertion of God in tire relation, there 
is also no denial of man. My own objection is that it 
at least seems to trench on a degradation of God : the 
very wickedest and least considerable of human beings 
may represent himself as a sort of reservoir from which 
at any moment he can draw on God, have God on tap. 
Of course, it may be answered that, in the relation, take 
it as it is, there is no room for any moment of compulsion 
— it is not a case of mere ancient theurgy, black art, 
magic ; the divine approach will come at its own good 
time — free ; and not any one human being that so 
tempers himself is then either wickedest or least consider- 
able. Nay, in humanity, is it so certain that the least 
and the greatest, the best and the worst, have any such 
mighty difference between them? May not even the 
least and the worst cry, And we then — are nut we, too, 
made in the image of God ? 

With all this that concerns a living ontologieal proof, 
these external manoeuvres and contrivances of Kant are 
strangely in contrast. To him it is quite clear that as 
he can reasonably think a hundred dollars not to exist, 
he can equally think God not to exist, but to be a mere 
idea of our own respondent to our own human desire for 
order. Adam Smith, in reply to the Doctrine of Utility, 
was surprised if "we have no other reason for praising a 
man than that for which we commend a chesl of drawers." 



What, then, should be our surprise if, in Kant's reclama- 
tion for order, we have no other reason for the production 
of a God than that we have for the production of a chest 
of drawers — convenience, namely ! God is but an 
illusion or delusion caused by the false light of sense 
misleading our judgment. This light Kant calls the 
" transcendental shine," and he is very proud of it. He 
is wonderfully contented with what he thinks his dis- 
covery of these three false lights of the Ideas. But if 
any one will just look for himself, his wonder will be 
— where they come from ? When we reason from the 
contingency of all things, as it were, to the linch-pin of 
all things — when we reason from design to a designer — 
even when we reason from a certain notion to the exist- 
ence of the object of that notion — in a word, in reasoning 
towards God, whether from existence to idea or from 
idea to existence, we think we have been only reasoning ; 
but, no, says Kant, you have been only led by a natural 
ignis fatuus, which you cannot turn your back upon, even 
when you know it. 

This system of Kant is but a Twelfth Night cake of his 
own manufacture, wonderfully be-clecked and be-dizzened, 
be-queened and be-kinged, be-flagged and be-turreted ; but, 
for all that, it is no more than a thing of sugar and 
crumb of bread. Kay, even for the quantity of the 
bread and the quality of the sugar that are in it, we 
cannot but thank Kant, naming him even there/or, the 
ehrliche Kant, the plain, honest, honourable Kant. 


The three degrees, positive, comparative, superlative in negation 
of the proofs, or Hume, Kant, Darwin — Tht Life and J. 
of Charles Darwin, chapter viii. of the first volume — Darwin 
one of the Lest of men — Design — Uniformity and law — Darwin's 
own words — He himself always gentle— Bui resolute to win — • 
— Concessiveness Religious sentiment — Disbelief- Job 
Natural selection being, materialism is true, and ideas are only 
derivative — The theory — A species what -Sterility — What 
suggested natural selection to Darwin — Bakewell'a achievements 
as a breeder — Darwin will substitute nature for Bakewell, to 
the production, not of new breeds, but, absolutely, of new 
species — His lever to this, change by natural accident and 
chance: such necessarily proving either advai dis- 

advantageous, or indifferent — Advantagt securing in the struggle 
for life survival of the fittest, disadvantagt entailing death and 
destruction, indifferenci being out of count — The woodp 
the misletoe— Bui mere variation the very fulcrum — Variation 
must be, and consequences to the organism must be: hence the 
whole — But never design, only a mechanical pullulation of 
differences by chance that simply prove advantageous or dis- 
advantageous, etc.— Conditions— Mr. Huxley — Effect of the 
announcements of sir Joseph Hooker and Sir Charles Lyell — 
Mr. Darwin insists ou his originality — His difficulties in 
winning his way Even those who agree with him, as Lyell. 
Hooker, and others, he demur- to their expressions : they fail to 
understand — Mr. Darwin's own qualms — " What makes a tuft 
of feathers come on a cock's head, or moss on a moss-rose J" — 
That the question Still spontaneous variation both uni\ 
and constant. 

In regard to the negative on the question of the proofs 
for the being of a God, having now passed through what 
we name the positive and comparative degrees of it as 


found respectively in the writings of David Hume and 
Immanuel Kant, we have reached at length the similarly 
conditioned superlative degree in so far as it is represented, 
on the whole, that is, by the views of the celebrated 
Charles Darwin. In chapter viii. of the first volume 
of The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, a chapter 
which bears to inform us in regard to the religious views 
of Mr. Darwin, and which is actually entitled " Religion," 
I think we shall easily find abundant evidence to prove 
that this distinguished naturalist, especially in the latter 
part of his life, came greatly to doubt of the existence of 
a God at all. I should not find it difficult in this 
reference, then, to paint a picture which should exhibit 
the original of it in a form and colouring still very odious 
to the great majority of the English-speaking populations 
anywhere. His absolute want of sympathy at last with 
all in nature and in art which we are in the habit of 
regarding as appealing to what is highest, or to what is 
deepest and divinest in the soul of man— that might be 
taken advantage of, and, according to ability, worked up 
into a representation, or misrepresentation, which should 
actually revolt. But I, for my part, have not the 
slightest inclination for the daubing — it would be only 
that — of any such caricature. I know that, if a man 
has long accustomed his thoughts exclusively to run in a 
single, special, and peculiar groove — I know, I say, that 
then all other grooves become distasteful to him. In 
many such grooves — -for many such grooves, he may have 
been enthusiastic once. He does not value tliein the 
less now ; but, in the intensity of his devotion to the one, 
he has ceased to be susceptible of the interest which it 
surprises, disappoints, disturbs him to find he no longer 
possesses for the others. This is a state of mind which, 
in regard of intellectual working, we may expect to meet, 
after a time, even in the best of men. And Charles 


Darwin was one of the best of men. As son, brother, 
husband, father, friend, as servant or master, as simple 
citizen, that man was, as is well possible here, perfect. 
It is to be understood, then, that, if I have to refer at 
any time to Mr. Darwin's religious opinions, I do so only 
in the regard that my subject compels. That subject at 
present is, specially, the negative of the proofs for the 
being of a God, and in Mr. Darwin's reference, that 
negative is secluded and confined to the argument from 
design. To this argument his peculiar theory is fatal ; 
and Mr. Darwin himself is not only aware of this, but in 
express terms acknowledges it. And that for me is 
enough, that for me is all. I have to do with Mr. 
Darwin in this respect alone. I know that in regard to 
the theory in question — Natural Selection — there are in 
existence all manner of views — I know that there are 
those to whom this theory has extended the satisfaction 
and consolation of universal uniformity and enlightened 
law ; but with these views or representations of views, I 
have, in any way whatever, no call to intromit. In fact, 
I may say at once in regard to uniformity, that it is not 
its presence, but its absence, that I find in the theory of 
Mr. Darwin. He who does not see — who does not know 
and proclaim that this world is dependent on ideas, is 
hung on ideas, is instinct with ideas — he to me has no 
true word to say for uniformity. I refuse to acknow- 
ledge uniformity in mere matter that is figured in mere 
mechanical play from beyond the Magellan clouds to 
within the indivisible unit of every living soul. My 
uniformity is the uniformity, not of matter, but of mind ; 
and that is the uniformity which I precisely fail to find 
in the theory of Mr. Darwin. He himself, as I say, 
acknowledges this. He doubts the existence of God ; he 
denies design. What I have first to do here, then, is to 
lead evidence in proof of the allegations made. So far 


as these allegations concern design, that is the direct 
interest ; in other respects they concern only an indirect 
implication in consequence of necessary quotation. I 
desire Mr. Darwin to be regarded only with respect — or, 
in truth and sincerity, only with love. It was in this 
spirit that, in the first place here, I contemplated a 
psychological inquiry, not only into the life and character 
of Mr. Darwin himself, but into those of his father, and 
specially of his grandfather, the celebrated Dr. Erasmus 
Darwin of Zoonomia and the Botanic Garden. In these 
references I collected largely. I ransacked the two lives 
of Dr. Erasmus, that of Miss Seward and that of Ernst 
Krause, as also that remarkable book of Miss Meteyard's, 
A Group of Englishmen, in which we are introduced 
to the enormous bulk of Mr. Darwin's father, " the 
largest man whom " the son " ever saw," " about six feet 
two inches in height, with broad shoulders and very 
corpulent," " twenty-four stone in weight, when last 
weighed, but afterwards much heavier," a man represented 
by Miss Meteyard as " eating a goose for his dinner as 
easily as other men do a partridge." Charles denies 
this : we must be cautious in receiving such reports ; 
others, he says, " describe his father as eating remarkably 
little." Evidently that goose is not to the stomach of the 
family. I read and made large extracts also from the 
various works of Dr. Erasmus, from the Zoonomia and 
the Botanic Garden. And it is possible that were I to apply 
all the material collected, I might be able to realize some 
not altogether uninteresting psychological characteriza- 
tion which might even have its bearing on the peculiar 
theories of the son and grandson ; but this would lead me 
much too far at present, and I am reluctantly compelled to 
turn to what my space alone allows me, the theory itself 
of Charles Darwin, and in so far as it concerns design. 
On that last head, design, we have it in our power to 

mr. darwin's own expressions. 327 

.adduce in evidence a great variety of expressions of Mr. 
.Darwin's own. Such expressions are principally bo be 
found in the letters to Mr. Asa Gray, and in the chapter 
entitled " Keligion," which occur in the work already 
referred to. From the latter, the eighth chapter, namely, 
of the first volume, I quote, for example, this: "The 
old argument from design in Nature . . . fails, now that 
the law of natural selection has been discovered . . . 
There seems to be no more design in the variability of 
organic beings . . . than in the course which the wind 
blows." Now, these are only a few words ; but they are 
unmistakable. They are crucial as to this, That, to Mr. 
Darwin, there is no more design in organic variation, 
than in the course of the wind, That, consequently, the 
argument from design fails, ami That this failure of said 
argument is to be attributed to the law of natural 
selection. By implication we see that Mr. Darwin's 
general doctrine is this, The varied organizations in 
nature are due, not to design, but to natural selection : 
or, as we may put it reverse-wise, natural selection 
accounts for all organic variation in nature, and any 
reference to a so-called principle of design is unwarranted, 
groundless, and gratuitous. Of course it cannot be said 
that Mr. Darwin exactly triumphs in this supposed 
destruction of the argument from design. Air. Dai win 
is a most amiable man. He was ever courteous in 
expression — whether by letter or by word of mouth — 
almost to a fault ; " he naturally shrank," as his son 
says, " from wounding the sensibilities of others in 
religious matters." So it is that in his letters to Asa 
Gray — an earnest-minded man — all thai he has to say 
on design is mitigated ever by gentle words in regard to 
theology. With respect "to the theological view of the 
question. This," he says, " is always painful to me. I am 
bewildered. I had no intention to write atheistically. 


But I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and 
as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence 
on all sides of us. ... I am inclined to look at every- 
thing as resulting from designed laws, 1 with the details, 
whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we 
may call chance." It is ever thus in meek conciliant 
vein he writes concessively to all his intimate friends, — 
even to Hooker and to Lyell, who were his most intimate. 
An element in this was, of course, the desire that was 
ever present to him of winning his way for his theory 
into the conviction of his correspondents, and of softening 
the opposition which he constantly encountered from 
them. It is rather amusing to watch his shrewd 
manoeuvres in this reference both with Hooker and 
Lyell, especially the latter, whom he is always reminding 
of his own eminence and of his own teaching in his 
geology ! At times he even gets humorously cross with 
his own self when consciousness of this his concessive 
attitude has come upon him, as in reference to his having 
"put in the possibility of the Galapagos having been 
continuously joined to America," though, " in fact con- 
vinced, more than in any other case of other islands, 
that the Galapagos had never been so joined." At 
such instance of concessiveness as this, I say, he gets 
humorously cross with himself, and exclaims, " It was 
mere base subservience and terror of Hooker & Co." 
With all softness of expression, however, Mr. Darwin's 
candour is never for a moment in doubt. He says him- 
self that he " does not think that the religious sentiment 

1 " Designed laws : " Mr. Darwin has just denied design ; there is 
no law for Mr. Darwin, but natural law, as of " the course of the 
wind," — natural mechanics ! The " working out " of the law, " good 
or bad," is left indifferently to " chance." The word is the inadvert- 
ence for the moment of unpremeditated writing ;— or is Mr. Darwin 
in it only conciliant to Mr. Asa Gray 1 


was ever strongly developed in him ; " and he writes 
with perfectly conscious unreserve of his unbelief in a 

revelation whether of or hy God, — writes quite jokingly 
at times, indeed, with reference to articles of faith and 
the priests that teach them. But it is only in what 
regards design that there is any interest in Mr. Darwin 
for us at presenl ; and we are happily spared here, con- 
sequently, all citation and any further reference to the 
subject of religion, so far as Mr. Darwin is concerned. 

The result before which we stand now, then, is this : 
If natural selection is true, design is false. That, at 
least, is the conclusion of Mr. Darwin ; and Mr. Darwin 
it was who, in regard to natural selection, first made 
current the phrase and held valid the doctrine. Evi- 
dently, then, Mr. Darwin being right, our whole enter- 
prise is brought to a very short issue. There is an end 
to the whole interest of Natural Theology — an end to all 
our relative declamation — an end to all our arguments for 
the existence of God, in so far, namely, as, to the general 
belief of the modern world, all these arguments con- 
centrate themselves in design. Design, namely, is the 
product of ideas; but there can be no ideas to begin with 
on the footing of natural selection. Natural select inn 
being true, ideas are not producers, but produced. What 
alone results in that case is that materialism is all, and 
that ideas only issue from the order and arrangement 
which things themselves simply fall into. The immediate 
question that presses on us, consequently, is, What is 
natural selection? And for an answer to this question 1 
confine myself to the same work already spoken of — 
The Life ami Letters. I am not unacquainted with the 
other relative writings of Mr. Darwin: but I find no 
answers to all my questions in these references so simple 
and direct as those suggested in the three volumes of 
the book I have named 


Now, to say it all in a word, the theory is this : 
Every organism has varieties ; of which varieties certain 
examples being selected, settle into longevity, as it were 
or into quasi - permanence as species. Species, so far, 
are but long-lived varieties ; and the question is, To con- 
stitute a species, is that enough — is longevity enough ? 
What, in fact, is it that does constitute a species, or 
what is the ensemble of qualities that is proper to, and 
distinctive of, a species ; what is the definition of a 
species? Now here, according to Mr. Darwin (ii. 88), 
" it is really laughable to see what different ideas are 
prominent in various naturalists' minds when they speak 
of species ; in some, resemblance is everything, and 
descent of little weight ; in some, resemblance seems to 
go for nothing, and creation the reigning idea ; in some, 
descent is the key; in some, sterility an unfailing test ; with 
others, it is not worth a farthing. It all comes, I believe, 
from trying to define the undefinable." A species, then, 
would appear from this to be undefinable to Mr. Darwin ; 
so much so that he can afford to laugh at his coadjutors 
and fellow-workers. When we turn in upon him, how- 
ever, actually engaged in the work of determining for 
himself a species, we find Mr. Darwin not by any means 
in a laughing humour. He tells his friend Hooker (ii. 
40) that, " after describing a set of forms as distinct 
species, tearing up my MS., and making them one 
species ; tearing that up, and making them separate ; 
and then making them one again (which has happened 
to me), I have gnashed my teeth, cursed species, and 
asked what sin I had committed to be so punished ! " 
Plainly, if we have first of all to make out for ourselves 
what the thing that is to originate is, we have our own 
difficulties before us. Nevertheless, from the various 
definers laughed at by Mr. Darwin, we may gather a list 
of what qualities are, on the whole, considered as more or 
less specific ; and they are these — Eesemblance, Descent, 


Creation, and Sterility. Creation we may dismi 
almost constituting precisely the single point that happens 
to be in question ; Mr. Darwin, that is, holds Bpecies doI 
to he created, hut to develop the one from the other. 
Of the other characters named, we may assume Mr. 
Darwin to allow resemblance and to accentuate descent, 
but to deny sterility. Of this last — sterility — Mr. 1 tarwin 
holds that neither sterility nor fertility affords any certain 
distinction between species and varieties (Origin, 237). 
I fancy, however, on this head, thai we shall very pro- 
bably hit the truth should we say that sterility is, after 
all, the rule, and that Mr. Darwin's conclusion, being in his 
own favour otherwise, is only plausibly supported on mere 
exceptions and consequent superficial discrepancies (some- 
what exaggerated) between authorities. "What I mean by 
the accentuated descent is Mr. Darwin's peculiarity — 
the peculiarity of opinion, namely, that there is descent 
from species, not only of separate individuals and 
separate varieties, but also of other and separate species. 
That is what is meant by the " Origin of Species by 
means of Natural Selection." Eow Mr. Darwin was 
to his peculiarity in this respect he tells us again and 
again himself. " All my notions," he says (ii. 79 i. " about 
how species change are derived from long-continued study of 
the works of (and converse with) agriculturists and horti- 
culturists ; and I believe I see my way pretty clearly on the 
means used by Nature to change her species and u,ln ^,t them 
to the wondrous and exquisitely beautiful contingencies to 
which every living being is exposed." Of what is meant 
by the " change " referred to here, as concerns first its 
artificial side (the action of the breeders), he speaks else- 
where (ii. 122) thus: "Man, by this power of accumu- 
lating variations, adapts living beings to his wants; he 
may be said to make tin 1 wool of one sheep good for 
carpets and another for cloth," etc. It is the celebrated 
Eobert Bakewell of Dishley, and the means by which 


he arrived at his wonderfully improved breeds of domestic 
animals — sheep, oxen, horses — that are here specially in 
allusion. Having observed that the young of animals 
are almost quite like their parents in qualities, he was 
led to infer that, if care were taken only suitably to pair, 
the result would be a breed uniting in itself whatever 
qualities should be the most desirable. Accordingly, it 
was in this way that he came to effect all those modifica- 
tions in the families of the domestic animals which are 
now so well known. Mr. Darwin, then, intimates further 
here, on the natural side, that he himself, by example of 
Bakewell, was led to place, instead of Bakewell, nature as 
a breeder, 1 with the result that he names natural selection. 
For the genesis of the idea in the mind of Mr. Darwin, 
that is the important point ; and this genesis will be full 
and complete if we only add two other less important 
and subordinate points. These are — 1. the Galapagos 
Archipelago, and, 2. the book of Malthus on population. 
In those altogether lonely, singular, and peculiar Gala- 
pagos Islands, namely, he thought he had caught nature 
in the very act of originating species ; and by Malthus 
there was suggested to him the Struggle for Existence. 
This phrase, we may add, afterwards led of itself to the 
further phrase Survival of the Fittest. So far, then, we 
see that Mr. Darwin was minded to discover in nature 
such operations upon animals as were exemplified by man 
in his artificial breeds ; and that he had accordingly come 
to see that the means to these operations was the 
Struggle for Life that eventuated in the Survival of the 
Fittest. How the struggle acted was his ultimate con- 

1 To Mr. Darwin, however, nature simply reverses Bakewell. He 
exaggerates similarity ; she exaggerates difference — literally that ! 
Neither is there any " struggle " to Bakewell, hut again the reverse. 
Man's operations, then, and those of nature are not " exemplified " 
the one in the other. One would like to see nature pairing for 
improvement of breed ! 

his leveb. 333 

Bideration; and the agent in result was variously named 
by him divergence, difference, modification, variation, etc. 
It was on this difference, or through this difference, that 

Nature operated her selection. Rather, in fact, it was 
the difference operated the m on nature, and nol 

nature on the difference. "When advantageous, that is, 
the difference did itself enable the organism to take a 

new departure in nature, to rise a step, to seize itself of 
a new and higher level in existence, a new and better 
habitat, a new and better food, a new and better attack, 
a new and better defence, etc. All this is precisely what 
is meant by Mr. Darwin when he says (i. 84): "The 
modified offspring of all dominant and increasing forms 
tend to become adapted to many and highly-diversified 
places in the economy of nature." To the ^mw effeel 
Mr. Darwin says more fully elsewhere (ii 124): "I can- 
not doubt that during millions of generations individuals 
of a species will lie born with some slight variation pro- 
fitable to some part of its economy. Such will have a 
better chance of surviving, propagating this variation, 
which, again, will be slowly increased by the accumula- 
tive action of natural selection; and the variety thus 
formed will either coexist with or, more commonly, will 
extirpate its parent form. An organic being like the 
woodpecker or the mistletoe may thus conic to be 
adapted to a score of contingencies, natural selection 
accumulating those slight variations in all parts of its 
structure which are in any way useful to it during any 
part of its life." These are Mr. Darwin's own words; 
and his scheme is really at full and entire in them. 
Still it may be brought considerably more dearly home 
to us, if we will but pay a little separate attention to its 
constitutive parts. The one great point in the whole, 
however, is the variation. That is the single hingi 
which the entire fabric turns. That is the cue for nat- 
ural selection to interfere; that, and that alone, is the 


source of the material that enables natural selection to 
succeed. Now that is a very simple affair; there is 
neither complication nor mystery in it. All organisms 
are variable ; and all organisms do vary. The interest 
is therefore that into which at any time the variation is 
made. That may be a mere slight increase of something 
already there ; some mere slight change of shape ; some 
mere slight change of direction even. Or it may be 
some initial new streak, some initial new caruncle, nodule, 
tubercle, alto relievo or basso relievo, some mere dimple 
or some mere lip, some mere initial crease, fold, pucker — 
si Due mere stain even. But whatever it be, there are 
necessarily the rudiments of advantage or disadvantage in 
it ; and whatever it be, there is a tendency for it to be 
propagated. It is inherited by the progeny of whatever 
organism we may suppose to have been suscipient 
(sufferer or beneficiary) of the change ; nay, not only in- 
herited, but inherited with increase and with tendency 
of increase. Should it be a dimple, a basso relievo, for 
example, it may grow into a hollow that should hold 
water, and as joint on the stem of a plant prevent the 
ascent of the insect that would plunder its nectary. Or 
should it be a tubercle, a nodule, an alto relievo, it may 
become in the end a new fibril, a new tentacle, a new 
tendril, an actual new organ to increase of the security, 
to increase of the nourishment and support of the plant. 
I say in the end ; and that end may be reached only by 
a long gradation, only by an accumulation of slowly 
successive, almost insensible steps — really insensible, if 
only looked at from day to day. What is alone con- 
cerned is this, that there shall be a change, and that 
that change shall tell upon the life of the organism. If 
it tell at all, then, through propagation, it can only 
tell with increase. But, with such telling gradation of 
change fairly conceived, we can be at no loss to conceive 
also the process carried out on this side and on that into 


organisms eventually so changed, that, compared with 
their antecedents or originals, they cannot be denied to 
be new species. Assume the change to be one of advant- 
age, then the accumulation of necessarily increasing 
differences can only end in the production of a new- 
creature. Mr. Darwin is resolute in his adherence 
to this, that there shall be no design from elsewhere 
— that the whole appearance of contrivance and con- 
struction shall be due to nothing else whatever than, 
so to speak, to tins mechanical pullulation of differences, 
that can only end in such mechanical accumulation as 
can be only tantamount to a new species. Of course, 
it is plant life, animal life, that so pullulates or develops ; 
and it is not denied that lift- may be more than 
mechanism. But still, as in life, the process hen 
only be called mechanical. We only assume it to be 
certain that organisms do vary, and quite as certain 
that any variation they present is in the first instance 
no more than an accident — a simple appearance oi 
chance. Even the influence of conditions is not to 
be taken into account: the same organism may exist 
under any conditions whatever, from the north to the 
south, or from the east to the west. Conditions or no 
conditions, it is the appearance of difference alone that is 
crucial — difference into advantage, and accumulation of 
difference into advantage, until by mere process of nat- 
ural eventiiation of steps the old has become new — out of 
one species another has been evolved This, whatever 
maybe said, is the genuine Darwin. Mr. Darwin has 
been much impressed by the progress of physical science 
— by the enormous revolution in it which the discovery 
of one law — the attraction of gravity — has accomplished, 
and it would rejoice his heart to introduce a like natural 
simplification into the process of organic change. As 
primal condition of the realization of this process, Mr. 
Darwin expressly excludes (ii. 170 s.) any necessity to 


presuppose an aboriginal " power of adaptation " or 
" principle of improvement ; " it is enough that there 
be granted " only diversified variability." And " so," he 
says, " under nature any slight modification which chances 
to arise, and is useful to any creature, is selected or pre- 
served in the struggle for life." To Mr. Darwin, the 
slight modification only " chances " to arise — chances in 
italics ! This one passage is decisive ; but there are 
many such. He says once to Lyell, for instance : " No 
change will ever be effected till a variation in the habits 
or structure, or of both, chance to occur in the right 
direction, so as to give the organism in cpuestion an 
advantage over other already established occupants of 
land or water ; and this may be, in any particular case, 
indefinitely long." And the word chance is again under- 
lined. To Hooker, too, he speaks in the same conviction. 
" The formation of a strong variety, or species," he says 
(ii. 87), " I look at as almost wholly due to the selection 
of what may be incorrectly called chance variations or 
variability ; " and again he italicizes chance. The adverb 
'• incorrectly," namely, is only added under the influence 
of common parlance. 1 The physical, natural changes, that 
are the groundwork of the theory, are to him — as physical, 
natural — results of mere mechanical play that may be 
named chance, or, as he says elsewhere, accident. His one 
desire, indeed, is to keep this chance, this accident, pure. 
Under it alone he would see a difference arise for a 
consequent series of differences, by propagation, heredity, 
to accumulate. So it is that he manifests most un- 
mistakably, and almost everywhere, a rooted disinclination 
to consider any diversity in organisms as the result of an 
alteration in external conditions. Courtesy was the very 
nature of Mr. Darwin ; and under its leading he goes 
always so far as ever he can in agreement with his 

1 "Incorrectly" here is pretty well as "designed" on p. 328 — 
see note. 


various correspondents. In a letter to Herr Moritz 
Wagner, for example, who seems to have accentuated 
conditions, " I wish I could believe/' he says with all 
gentleness, — "I wish I could believe in this doctrine (the 
agency of changed conditions), as it removes many diffi- 
culties." Even here, however, his wish for, is followed 
by his objections to. No doubt, Herr Wagner is not the 
only correspondent to whom there may be some polite 
expression of favour, more or less, for conditions ; but 
even within a year of his death, in writing to Profi 
Semper with reference to Professor Hoffmann's experiments 
in discredit of conditions, he ventures to tell the former, 
— " I thought you attributed too much weight to the 
direct action of the environment; — changed conditions 
act, in most cases, in a very indirect manner." Else- 
where in these letters, when he judges his correspondent 
to be with him, there is to be found quite a superfluity 
of expressions unexceptively averse to the belief in 
conditions. To Hooker, for example, he says once, 
" The conclusion I have come to ... is that external 
conditions (to which naturalists so often appeal) do by 
themselves very little;" and this very little is an itali- 
cized very little. On another occasion he finds " the 
common notion absurd that climate, food, etc., should 
make a pediculus formed to climb hair, or woodpecker 
to climb trees." " I quite agree with what you say 
about the little direct influence of climate," he e 
quite glad to tell Hooker at another time. To Thomas 
Davidson, again, he courteously and concessively admits, 
"I oscillate much on this head;" still he takes heart 
to intimate that he "generally returns to his belief that 
the direct action of the conditions of life has not been 
great." To Lyell, he throws oil' every rag of reserve, 
and actually swears. " I feel inclined to swear at 
climate" (ii. 174), he says; ''no error is more mis- 
chievous than this" (ii. 169) ; and again, " It has taken 



me so many years to disabuse my mind of the too great 
importance of climate that I am inclined to swear at the 
North Pole, and, as Sydney Smith said, ' even to speak 
disrespectfully of the Equator ; ' " and then he bids Lyell 
reflect how " readily acclimatization is effected under 
nature " — how " thousands of plants can perfectly well 
withstand a little more heat and cold, a little more 
damp and dry," etc. As all inorganic phenomena are 
under the law of physical gravitation, so Mr. Darwin 
would wish all organic phenomena to prove under the 
law of mere physical variation. So it is that he dislikes 
all reference to conditions. It is very natural that one, 
for a time, should fail to see this in Mr. Darwin ; for 
the influence of conditions is so glaringly conspicuous, 
so palpably indispensable indeed, that it takes long 
to be prepared for their denial. Nevertheless, it is ob- 
vious from these quotations — and they might be largely 
augmented — that he who insists on conditions as ele- 
ments in the construction of an organism, cannot be 
in agreement with, but is in opposition to, Mr. Darwin. 
And it is here that Mr. Huxley puts us to some difficulty 
— not for his opinions, but only in his use of the phrase 
"external conditions." As regards the 1844 Essay, for 
example, he points out to Mr. Darwin's son that in 
it " much more weight is attached to the influence of 
external conditions in producing variation, and to the 
inheritance of acquired habits, than in the Origin ; " 
while to Mr. Darwin himself he had, after reading his 
book in 1859, remarked, — and the remark is the second 
of the only two objections that have occurred to him, — 
" it is not clear to me why, if continual physical con- 
ditions are of so little moment as you suppose, variation 
should occur at all" (ii. 231). Mr. Huxley, from these 
quotations, had evidently observed that Mr. Darwin put 
little moment on physical conditions, and that this ten- 
dency on his part was stronger on a later occasion than 

MR. HUXLEY. 339 

on an earlier. Evidently, also, Mr. Huxley was so far in 
disagreement with Mr. Darwin. It cannot be so far, 
then, that we mean Mr. Hnxley to have put us to 
any relative difficulty. No; the reference in that case 
is to a passage in Mr. Huxley's writing, just of the other 
day, which (Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, vol ii. 
p. 195) runs thus: "The suggestion that new species 
may result from the selective action of external con- 
ditions upon the variations from their specific type which 
individuals present — and which we call 'spontaneous,' 
because we are ignorant of their causation — that sug- 
gestion is the central idea of the Origin of Species, and 
contains the quintessence of Darwinism." Here " ex- 
ternal conditions," as we see, have become the very 
motor, and agent, and source, and spring of Darwinism ; 
and they do give difficulty, if they arc to be supposed 
the same as before. But they are not to be so supposed 
— they are not the same as before. No, very far from 
that ! The conditions then were supposed to precede the 
variation : the conditions now are supposed to follow it. 
Or, while the former were the conditions that brought 
about the variation, the latter, again, are those that only 
take advantage of it. The first set of conditions were 
those of climate, — heat and cold, damp and dry, — food, etc. 
What the second set refers to — quite otherwise — are 
the increased means of nourishment, support, slicker, 
security, which have been already described as the 
advantages on the part of nature, pictured in the theory, 
to be consequent upon the variation. As was said then: 
It is on the variation that Nature operates her selection ; 
or, as it may be otherwise conceived, the selection is 
operated on nature, by the, variation. Now, that is the 
whole meaning of Mr. Huxley in the apparently dis- 
crepant usage of the phrase "external conditions," in his 
respective passage that has just been quoted. Further, 
as we may allow ourselves to note, when, in the same 


passage, Mr. Huxley calls the variation " spontaneous," 
there can be no hesitation in acknowledging that he 
is absolutely correct in asserting the single suggestion 
he has in view to be the central idea, and to constitute 
the quintessence of Darwinism : the suggestion, namely, 
that new species may result from such and such selective 
action on such and such individual variation. A variation 
occurs spontaneously in an organism ; and it is followed 
up by a selective action on (or through) the conditions in 
its environment. These are the conditions Mr. Huxley 
means now ; and that to him, as it is to us, is the whole 
idea of Darwinism — the quintessence of Darwinism — 
the centre, and the soul, and the very self of Darwinism. 
For the sake of clearness, I may just point out here a 
third set of external conditions. The " attraction of 
gravity," namely, " light," etc., which Mr. Darwin names 
in connection with the " power of movement " in plants, 
are quite entitled to the same designation ; but, however 
relevant as referred to, they are not to be regarded as 
elements in the Darwinian construction. 

We may return now to this, that, in their first sense, 
Mr. Huxley disagreed with Mr. Darwin as to the action 
of external conditions in respect of variations in in- 
dividual organisms — disagreed so widely, indeed, that it 
was not clear to him (Huxley) " how, without continual 
physical conditions, variation should occur at all." Con- 
fusion in regard to the various sets of conditions is 
not to be thought of when these words were written. 
There must, at that time, have been points of serious 
disagreement on the part of Mr. Huxley with the views 
of Mr. Darwin. It is Mr. Darwin himself who writes 
to Mr. Huxley in 1860 (ii. 354): "This makes me 
feel a little disappointed that you are not inclined to 
think the general view in some slight degree more 
probable than you did at first. This I consider rather 
ominous. I entirely agree with you that the difficulties 


on my notions are terrific." Nor, if it was so with Mr 
Huxley, was it in any respect better — rather, was it 
not worse? — with Sir Joseph Hooker and Sir Charles Lyell, 
who, as the confidants of Mr. Darwin, had, on various 
public occasions, been the means of trumpeting the story 
of our long-tailed or four-footed ancestors to an astonished 
world, which could but breathlessly rush to see and 
to know ? Mr. Darwin will have it (i. 87), that it was 
not, " as it has been sometimes said, that the success 
of the Origin proved ' that the subject was in the air,' 
or ' that men's minds were prepared for it.' I do not 
think that this is strictly true," he says, " for I occasion- 
ally sounded not a few naturalists, and never happened 
to come across a single one who seemed to doubt about 
the permanence of species. Even Lyell and Hooker, 
though they would listen with interest to me, never 
seemed to agree." Of Lyell he had already written to 
Dr. Asa Gray in 1863, " You speak of Lyell as a 
judge ; now what I complain of is that be declines to 
be a judge. I have sometimes almost wished that Lyell 
had pronounced against me." To Lyell himself, too, he 
writes (ii. 300), "It is a great blow to me that you 
cannot admit the potency of natural selection ; " and 
again, " I grieve to see you hint at the creation of 
distinct successive types, as well as of distinct aboriginal 
types." To the same Gray he avows also, " You never 
say a word or use an epithet which does not express 
fully my meaning. Now Lyell, Hooker, and others, who 
perfectly understand my book, yet sometimes use ex- 
pressions to which I demur." It is to be feared that even 
this Dr. Asa Gray, who never said a discrepant, word, 
was pretty much, for all that, in the same state of mind 
as Hooker and Lyell. Mr. Darwin, himself, in the very 
next paragrapli of the very same letter, can only say 
of him, "I yet hope, and almost believe, thai the time 
will come when you will go farther, in believing a very 


large amount of modification of species, than you did 
at first, or do now. Can you tell me whether you 
believe further, or more firmly, than you did at first ? " 
It is quite touchingly suggestive of the situation, and 
quite pathetic, to hear Mr. Darwin, so painfully, simply 
in earnest, follow up his question by, " I should really 
like to know this ! " Mr. Darwin, indeed, must have 
occasionally suffered dreadfully at this time from dis- 
trust, and mistrust, and want of confidence in the sound- 
ness and cogency of what he had so much his heart 
in. He tells Asa Gray of the thought of the eye making 
him " cold all over." Nay, he says, " the sight of a 
feather in a peacock's tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes 
me sick ! " It is in much the same mood of mind, or 
with the same problem before him, that he cries out once 
to Huxley, " If, as I must think, external conditions pro- 
duce little direct effect, what the devil determines each 
particular variation ? What makes a tuft of feathers 
come on a cock's head, or moss on a moss-rose ? " 

For us, from such expressions as these, we are brought 
very close to the question as Mr. Darwin sees it. There 
is no formed difference that he would not like to account 
for; and he does not always see his way to this in 
a start from certain rudimentary or initial spontaneous 
differences, which his theory obliges him to assume. 
" I believe," he says, " most beings vary at all times 
enough for selection to act on," — that is, he means, as it 
were, and as Mr. Huxley directly says, " spontaneously " 
vary. Hence advantage and disadvantage in the struggle 
for life, with the necessary survival of the fittest. 

We have thus broken ground on the views of Mr. Dar- 
win, and will be already able to judge, in some degree, of 
the relation which, according to Mr. Darwin himself, these 
views bear to the argument from design ; and that alone is 
the consideration which interests us here. We must con- 
tinue the subject with, I hope, a closer approach in our next. 


The theory — Individual variation — Darwin early looked for natural 
explanation of design- Creation, it- senses Antisthenes, Cole- 
brooke, Cudworth — Creative Ideas — Anaxagoras Aristotle 
Mr. ('lair Grece and Darwin — For design Mr. Darwin offers a 
mechanical pullulation of individual difference through chance, 
but with consequent results that as advantageous or disadvanl 
ous seem concerted — Tin- Fathers— Nature the phenomenon of 
the noumenon, a boundless externality of contingency that still 
i^ a life — Nature, the object will only /» when it reaches the 
subject — That object be, or subject be, hoth must be- Even the 
crassest material particle is already both elementarily — As ii 
were, even inorganic matter possesses instincts Aristotle, d< 
and necessity Internalization — Time space, motion, matter — 
The world — Contingency — A perspective of pictures The 
Vestiges and evolution — Darwin deprecates genealogies, but 
returns to them — The mud-fish — Initial proteine T. ire so 
many mouths to eat it up now— Darwin recants his pentateuchal 
concession to creation — Depends on "fanciers and breeders" — 
The infinitudes of transition just taken by Mr. Darwin in a Btep 
— Hypothesis — Illustration at random — Difference would go on 
to difference, not return to the identity — Mr. Lewes and Dr. 
Erasmus — The grandfather's filament - Seals— The bear and the 
whale— Dr. Erasmus on the imagination, on weeping, on fear, 
on the tadpole's tail, on the rationale of strabismus. 

We have now reached something of an insight into the 

theorem or theory of Mr. Darwin. 1 know not that it 
can l»e hotter put titan as we have seen it put, in his 
own clear way, by Mr. Huxley. "The suggestion," he 
says, "that new species may result from the selective 
action of external conditions upon the variations from 
their specific type which individuals present, and which 


we call ' spontaneous,' because we are ignorant of their 
causation — that suggestion is the central idea of 
the Origin of Species, and contains the quintessence of 
Darwinism." Perhaps we might object to the phrase 
" variations from their specific type " as insufficiently 
exact. Variation from specific type, we might say, has 
already achieved the whole problem — at a word ! If 
there is spontaneous variation from the specific type — 
if that is a fact, then "the selective action of external 
conditions " seems supererogatory, seems to have nothing 
left for it to do : what was wanted is already accom- 
plished. A variation from the Specific type, a new 
creature, is already there ; and we are just simply ignor- 
ant of its causation. Mr. Darwin himself does not con- 
ceive the first variation to be more than an individual 
variation (children only individually vary from their 
parents) — he does not conceive it to be by any means 
a specific variation — a variation at once into a new 
creature. Specific variation, a new creature, is to Mr. 
Darwin only the result — perhaps after millions of 
generations — of the eventual accumulation, by inherit- 
ance, of an indefinite — almost of an infinite — number 
of individual differences. So much importance, indeed, 
does Mr. Darwin attach to the first individual difference, 
to the very first initial modification as the absolutely first 
step in the process, and the consequent divergence of 
character from the gradual accumulation of steps, modi- 
fications, that he would almost consent to withdraw the 
phrase natural selection. " Compared to the question of 
Creation or Modification," he says (ii. 371), "Natural 
Selection seems to me utterly unimportant." And that 
brings us to the question that is between Mr. Darwin 
and ourselves — the question of design, namely. Early in 
life Mr. Darwin's father " proposed that he should be- 
come a clergyman," and he himself in the first instance 


was nothing loath. He was " heartily laughed at too," 
he says, " by several of the officers of the Beagk foT 
quoting the Bible." Nevertheless, he seems, still early 
in life, to have taken an antipathy to creation as the 
explanation of the adaptations and contrivances he saw 

in organic life. How was the w ipecker, for instance, 

so wonderfully formed for the climbing of trees, he asked 
himself; and he could not at all quiet himself by the 
answer, it has been just so made. That was a super- 
natural explanation, and he for his part could only be 
satisfied with a natural cue. If all that is //(organic is 
absolutely determined by natural law, why should not 
all that is organic be similarly determined ? And so, as 
I have just quoted, he came to his idea of "modification," 
on which as a principle of explanation he took his stand, 
in opposition to, and supersedure of, "creation." That 
was the colour he definitely nailed to his mast — 
" Creation or Modification." And his or here is an 
italicized or; for to Mr. Darwin there could In' 110 
other or. In fact, to the general crowd of naturalists at 
this moment it would appeal thai there can be — rather 
that there is, no other or, no other alternative whatever, 
than "creation or modification." A good deal depends 
here, however, on what sense is to be given to " creation." 
Antisthenes must have believed snails and locusts to have 
been mere products of the earth ; for Diogenes Laertius 
reports him to have called the Athenians no Letter than 
such low spawn when they bragged of being earth-born. 
The Indian philosophers, too, according to Colebrooke, 
held the " spontaneous generation of worms, nits, maggots, 
una ts, and other vermin." Then Ralph Cudworth was 
undoubtedly a most devout, sincere, ami pious Christian : 
but he seems to have felt it such an indignity to Cod to 
hold that "God Himself doth all immediately; and, as it 
were, with His own hands form the body ^i every ;_ r i:at 


and fly, insect and mite," that he invented, and extended 
as medium between God and the world, what is known 
to all students as his " Plastic Nature." This Cudworth 
describes, not as " the divine, not archetypal, but only 
ectypal," as " reason immersed and plunged into matter, 
and, as it were, fuddled in it and confounded with it." 
We see, then, from this what sense Ealph Cudworth gave 
to creation. And I at least am so far of his mind that 
I as little believe God to have put hand to gnat or fly, 
insect or mite, as I believe Him to have manufactured, 
quarried, or mason-like made, the little bare rock on the 
top of Arthur's Seat. But, again, in the other direction, 
I am absolutely of the same mind with Cudworth in 
regard to ideas. To him " knowledge is older than all 
sensible things ; vovs, nous is senior to the world, and 
the architect thereof." Since Anaxagoras, it will be 
within recollection, that is the view that has been argued 
in these lectures ; and since Aristotle design has been the 
name of our conviction. " It is better to be than not to 
be," says Aristotle, " and nature always strives to the 
better" (336b); "it is not the wood that makes the 
bed, but the skill ; and it is not w T ater itself that makes 
out of itself an animal, but nature" (335). Anaxagoras 
was, as we know, nicknamed vov<i ; and with quite as 
much reason the boys and girls of Athens might have 
cried after Aristotle, eve/ca ov, eveicd rov, reXos, t€\o<; ) all 
of which words mean design. Mr. Darwin, I repeat, never 
made a greater mistake in his life than when he allowed 
Mr. Clair Grece's translation to make him believe that 
Aristotle, like himself, was above design and all for 
natural necessity on chance. As I say, Aristotle might 
have been as appropriately called Design, as Anaxagoras 
was called Mind ; and even much more appropriately, 
for Aristotle, unlike Anaxagoras, was true to his 
principles throughout ; design was his first word and his 

< i;i:atiye IDEAS. .">4 7 

last. Now, it is in consequence of just such a belief in 
design that it is impossible for me bo accept the theory 
which Mr. Darwin offers as in lieu of it. Mr. Darwin, 
for his part, has no such belief, and he offers us, instead, 
a mechanical pullulation of individual difference which is 
to eventuate in all the beautiful and complicated forms, 
whether of plant or animal, which we see around us. 
We have seen that it was the alternative of " creation " 
or "modification" thai determined him to this. Others 
might call in the supernatural, the god from the machine, 
if they liked; he, for his part, would only have the usual 
at work, lie would see all these fine adaptations just 
naturally inflect themselves. He had only one sense for 
" creation," and apparently it was only the crass, common, 
literal one of a workman turning something out of hand. 
As we have seen also, Cudworth, to say nothing oi 
Antisthenes and the Indians, could not away with this 
conception, hut felt under a necessity to interpose a 
plastic nature between God and the world. For their 
parts, the most and greatest of the Fathers, clement of 
Alexandria, Origen, Athanasius, Basil, Hilary, and 
especially Augustine, believed that the world was called 
into existence even as by a wish ; and in this way, handi- 
work there was none. To a certain extent that illus- 
trates what we may call perhaps the true or correct idea in 
the immediate reference. Nature is bul the phenomenon 
of the noumenon, the many of the one, the externale of the 
internale, thrown down from the unity of reasoned co- 
articulation and connectedness — thrown down and abroad 
into the infinitude of a disunited, disconnected, and dis- 
articulated inorganic chaos, which, however, turns upon 
-turns upon itself tor restoration and return to the 
image from which it fell. Nature is not dead, nature is 
a life, and, if all unconsciously to itself, it has still an 
aim in view. "It is better to be than not to be," says 


Aristotle; and so, as I take it, it is, that what is, is. 
And if it is for the better that what is, is, so it is that 
this same better is never lost sight of. " We say that 
nature," as is the expression of this same Aristotle, 
" always in all things strives — opeyeaOcu — reaches, 
stretches out hands to the better." In a word, nature would 
articulate itself, nature would see, nature would be seen 
— nay, at the last, nature would see its own self. Nature 
with all its rocks and seas and mountains, with all its 
suns and moons and planets, with all its vast star- 
systems and all its immensity of space and all its 
infinitude of time, would be — if only that — no more 
than the blackness and silence of a point — no more than 
the blackness and silence of an all-indefinite point. But 
nature would not remain that — nature would be — nature 
would be a universe — a marvellous crystal universe, with 
an eye to see it, and an ear to hear it. . The object would 
be the subject ; and then only, first of all, would itself 
be — then only first of all would the object be the 
object — then only first of all would it be even an 
object. Nature must have a man to make it even 
nature — object must have subject to make it even 
object. Alone, unseen, the Bayadere of the universe 
will not even dance. Now the subject is what hears 
and sees and thinks, while the object is what is heard 
and seen and thought ; and that there be, just that 
anything be — that there be anything, both must be. But 
it is not to be supposed that there is only such union to 
be found when we come to find ourselves, when we come 
to find a man. The mud of the river, the sand by the 
sea, the very dust beneath our feet, is at once both. 
Were it not so, it would be naught, nothing ; it would 
disappear — it would be incognizable of us. That it is 
cognizable of us depends upon this, that it is already a 
concretion of categories, a complexion of thoughts. As 


you may wash away all colour from B clot of blood, and 
be left at last with a pun- transparent ultimate, a pure 
transparent web which held the colour, so you may 
discharge materiature from any particle of dust, or sand, 
or mud, and be left at last with a pure diamond of 
fibres intellectual. No particle of dust, or .-and, or mud 
but is there in quantity, and quality, and measure, in 
substance and accident, in matter and form, and in quite 
a congeries of many other cat In this way one 
can see that it may be said that even inorganic matter 
possesses instincts. Not dog alone, or rat or cat, or bee 
or swallow, is endowed with instinct, but even the rucks, 
and stones, and all the materials around them. The 
lower animals to Mr. Darwin, as lie says, " 3eem to have 
the very same attributes in a much lowei I per- 
fection than the Lowest Bavage" <ii. 2 1 1 >. To him, that 
is, there is an intellectual gradation from the lowest 
animal to the highest man. Still he calls it "a strange 
view of instinct, and wholly false/ 1 that would "n 
intelligence as a developed instinct." That, however, 
must arise from Mr. Darwin's peculiarity to look upon 
instinct as only an inherited habit. Most people mean 
by instinct the whole thinking faculty of an animal, bo 
far as it has a thinking faculty at all. It is in the same 
way that Aristotle, though lie say- that "God and nature 
do nothing in vain," yet assigns to nature no divine 
quality, hut only one that is daemonic, acting on un- 
conscious motive, even as we might conceive \\ 1 to act, 

did it make out of itself a boal or a bed; fur nature's 
ends are wrought out blindly and without reflection 
Nevertheless, even so working, nature, continues Aristotle, 
. affords inexpressible delight to those who are 
ahle to discover causes, and are philosophers by nati 

not hut that, a- lie >a\> eNewheie, 677al6— , "-' 

is not always to he looked tor, inasmuch a-, certain things 


being such as they are, many others follow from them 
through necessity." This operation of necessity, as we 
see, is what Mr. Darwin alone trusts to, and under its 
iron feet, unlike Aristotle, he would annihilate design. 
But alone the consideration gives pause to that — the 
consideration, what would the whole universe be, did it 
not attain to an eye that would look at it, to an ear 
that would listen to it ? To that co-articulation of 
mutual necessities it is impossible for any thinking 
being to conceive of chance as the cause. As we saw, 
it is better to be than not to be, and so there is ; but 
if there is, then there is both object and subject. Either 
without the other were a blank ; either without the other 
were in vain. In order that anything be, there must 
both be. No one can look at nature, even as it is there 
before our eyes, without acknowledging that what it 
shows everywhere is the rise from lowest object up to 
highest subject. Science has already divided this rise, 
and made of it a succession of terraces, of which any one 
is already more reasonable than its predecessor. To take 
this succession and progression from below upwards is, 
as it were, a reversal of emanation, a sort of retrograde 
emanation, and the only truth, perhaps, of that whole 
doctrine. We have first utmost space and furthest time, 
and then motion and the moved merely — the moved 
merely, matter, namely, that, as space is externality 
outwards, has already commenced to be externality 
inwards, and so approached the subject, as it were, 
individually and from within ; while motion, that has 
thrown the whole into the unity of law and system — 
astral system — is the same approach, as it were, uni- 
versally and from without. Nay, earlier still, we may 
place the beginning of the approach. Space in itself is 
manifestly the externale as the externale ; it is exter- 
nality pure and simple, externality as such ; it is always 


out and out endlessly, it is never in and in. And it lies 

there motionless a motionless, infinite Out. Tl. 

no pure internal framework there as in the clot of blood, 

no hidden categorical nucleolus of ideas as in material 
particles. Yet, even as these particles have categories, 

space has, as its soul, time. - - in the clnf 

time: in each moment of time the whole infinitude of 
space at once is: no moment of time but is at once 
everywhere. Is it nut strange just to think of tl 
that even the perishable moment of time is, as every- 
where in space, at once infinite.' And yet for us to 
count the infinitude of space, we Bhould require the 
eternity of time. Evidently, whatever t : they 

must both go together; time and - ire a concrete, 

<if which the one is the discretion ami tin- other the 
continuity. But the universe, in that it holds of the 
infinite and absolute, is independent of either. X- one 
can say where the world exists, nor when — it is above 
any where or any when: it is its own there and then, 
and everywhere, and at once, and always. As we have 
said, it is the phenomenon of the noumenon ; and as 
everywhere the turn and return of the out to the in, it 
makes confession of its origin. Even in the finite there 
is rise of the object into the subject, and science tells 
us of it — in astronomy, and geology, ami botany, and 
zoology, and man. The whole effort of nature in its 
zoology is to get to man: and it is a Ion- ascent : 
to him. through sponge and mollusc, fish and reptile, 
bird and beast Nature, all the time, is in no hurry or 
haste, however, but spreads itself out, in its contingency 
in millions ami millions of indifferent shapes which, never- 
theless, collect and gather themselves in their contingency 
to the rounds and rungs of their ladder in its rise. 
Nature scatters its living products abroad, as the sea its 
shells upon the strand. Contingency is the word; he 


that cannot put himself at home with contingency as 
philosophically understood, will never philosophize this 
world. Mr. Darwin's inherited individual differences 
will never prove a match for the contingency that is. 
Mr. Darwin had the richest memory of anecdotes in 
nature of any man that ever lived, and, with an even 
infinite conjectural ingenuity, he carried every anecdote 
to its purpose in the march. But what these anecdotes 
were to illustrate or establish was, in the first instance, 
this. Mr. Darwin said to himself, Children resemble 
their parents ; but they also differ from them. Evidently, 
therefore, they are as likely to propagate differences as 
to propagate resemblances ; for the fact of propagation, 
the fact of inheritance, is to be admitted, is simply to be 
named. Now, any given difference may be an advantage, 
or it may be a disadvantage. That is, the animal, by 
reason of the difference propagated and inherited, may be 
obstructed in the exercise of its functions and the use of 
its conditions ; or, in all these respects, it may be fur- 
thered. The ultimate of obstruction can only be ex- 
tinction. But, in the case of furtherance, inasmuch as 
furtherance only encourages furtherance, ever the more 
and the more, say for incalculable periods, the ultimate 
can only be something perfectly new — can only be a new 
organism, in fact, that is tantamount to a new species. 
Now observe how, all this time, and even as I have been 
using the words — observe how we have all passed through 
a long, fascinating, and most natural-seeming perspective. 
We have all, in imagination, cpuite pleasedly, and without 
a rub or a check, assisted actually at a new birth. 
We could not help ourselves. Seeing that inherited 
difference going incalculably on and on, we felt involun- 
tarily minded to admit any intermediate metamorphosis 
with any terminal result whatever. We heard words 
which gave us a picture in imagination ; and we sub- 

THE vestiges, 353 

mitted to them. Nothing can be more plausible than 
an incalculable lime ; aothing can be more plausible khan 
an infinite series of infinitely small numbers— h< 
infinitely small differences that gradually pass into one 
another. It belongs to the human mind to picture an 
endless time, — an endless continuity, — and then break it 
up into an endless number of points — an endless number 
of discretes. We yield to the plausibility of all this, 
then, I say; we yield and — we are lost. But, consider, 
is it a fact that length of time will of itself account for 
anything ? Is it a fact that we must allow the capability 
of insensible degrees to account for any change whatever '. 
Given a thing that is granted to vary, surely we may see 
it in imagination vary into anything whatever — should 
there further be granted any number of insensible degrees 
and any length of time we may wish. Such conditions 
must prove irresistible to any imagination that has not 
prepared and fortified itself for opposition in advance. 
Our possible mental pictures have really a most potent 
effect upon us, but a new species, made by man, or made 
by nature, has it been ever proved $ Followers of Mr. 
Darwin have been asked, Is it at all conceivable that any 
length of time, or that any insensible degrees, would 
ever convert a canary into an elephant, or a bee into a 
bull? And followers of Mr. Darwin have always turned 
upon the questioner with contempt for his ignorance, and 
indignation for his injustice. Did lie not know that 'Sir. 
Darwin ever poured scorn on all such questions ? Even 
in the case of a. man so eminent as Dr. Robert Chambers, 
and of a book so justly authoritative as the Vestiges, did 
not Mr. Darwin find "the idea of a fish passing into a 
reptile, monstrous"? Did not such things amuse him 
in the greal geologisl Sir Roderick Impey Murchison \ 
and did it not give him "a cold shudder (ii. 334) to hear 
of any one" — Professor Parsons it was — "speculating 



about a true crustacean giving birth to a true fish ? 
How very different his own ideas of genealogy were, we 
may understand from this. " We might give to a bird the 
habits of a mammal," he says (ii. 335), "but inheritance 
would retain almost for eternity some of the bird-like 
structure, and prevent a new creature ranking as a 
mammal." That is, a bird, even though it had already 
the habits of a mammal, would remain bird-like, and 
never, in all eternity, rise to the rank of a mammal. 
Fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, must have 
had, for each of them as a class, their one "necessary 
and peculiar progenitor, having a character like the 
embryo " of an individual of each of them. It is Mr. 
Darwin's own declaration always, " We must imagine " — 
he does not say discover — " we must imagine some form 
as intermediate — I cannot conceive (ii. 335) any existing 
reptile being converted into a mammal." It is gross 
ignorance, then, to hear enemies of Mr. Darwin courage- 
ously maintain that they, for their parts, had never come 
from a cow, just as though Mr. Darwin had ever said 
that ! This is something like those enemies of Berkleian- 
ism who attribute to Berkeley the direct communication 
on the part of God to man of every possible absurd 
particular, whereas Berkeley has no thought in his mind 
but of communication on the part of God to man of this 
whole orderly, law-regulated, systematized universe. Such 
caricaturists in objections are to be found in opposition 
to every new truth. As there were those who told 
Berkeley to knock his head against a lamp-post, so there 
are those who tell Mr. Darwin they did not come from 
a cow ! Well, then, I suppose we may grant that, as on 
the part of the friends of Mr. Darwin, to be all right. 
It is gross ignorance to say that Mr. Darwin ever holds 
us to come from a cow, or can be construed into so 
holding. When Mr. Darwin called " the idea of a fish 


passing into a reptile, monstrous," he also i 
declared, as for his own part, " / will not specify any 
genealogies — much too little known at present." We 
see, however, that Mr. Darwin's knowledge must have 
very sensibly increased, for we are in his debt in tin- end 
for several genealogies. He is quite confident at last, 
for example, that the early progenitor of man was a 
catarhine monkey covered with hair, its ears pointed and 
capable of movement, its foot prehensile, its body pro- 
vided with a tail, and it habits arboreal (Descent of Mia n, 
155-60). At an earlier period he says, " Owr ancestor 
was an animal which breathed water, had a swim bladder, 
a great swimming tail, an imperfect skull, and undoubt- 
edly was a hermaphrodite!" (ii. 266). Mr. Darwin is 
so sure of his affair here thai he can say " undoubtedly." 
Of course we, for our parts, are accordingly impressed ; 
but if Mr. Darwin had said, "Our ancestor was not an 
animal which breathed water, had no imperfect skull, and 
no great swimming tail, and was undoubtedly not a herma- 
phrodite," I question whether we should not have been 
equally accipient, and quite equally impressed. But now 
that Mr. Darwin has come after all to have as much con- 
fidence in genealogy as the author of the Vestiges himself, 
we have to see that it is the lepidosiren or mud-fish that 
is his greatest favourite in the propagation race. When 
Sir Charles Lyell ventures to say a word about "the 
necessity of the continued intervention of creative power," 
Mr. Darwin is immediately reminded of the mud-fish, and 
of the ease with which (to use his own expression) it will 
floor Lyell. " I cannot see this necessity," he says, " and 
its admission, I think, would make the theory of natural 
selection valueless. Grant a simple archetypal creature 
like the mud-fish or lepidosiren with the five senses and 
some vestige of mind, and I believe natural selection 
will account for the production of every vertebrate 


animal ! " Why the mud-fish is such a favourite with 
Mr. Darwin probably is because, as he tells us, it is 
intermediate " between reptiles and fish, between mam- 
mals and birds on the one hand and reptiles on the other 
hand." The mud-fish, should we look it up, as we easily 
may in any zoological primer, will be found a creature 
something like an eel, and of no great size. When Mr. 
Darwin asked to be allowed to endow it with " the five 
senses and some vestige of mind," we may have thought 
that he was only asking to be granted what the problem 
itself amounted to ; but should we look at the fish itself, 
and consider what materials Mr. Darwin only asked for 
in order to make it a man, I doubt not we shall admire 
his modesty. For the commencement of all the marvels 
of animal life, Mr. Darwin, as he says, would seem to 
require only " a proteine compound chemically formed in 
some little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phos- 
phoric salts, light, heat, electricity, etc., present ; " but, 
alas ! as he very pointedly laments, " at the present day 
such matter would be instantly devoured and absorbed," 
now that there are so many " living creatures " all about 
(iii. 18). The want of this primordial life-matter, which 
Mr. Darwin quite cheerfully opines might be quite easily 
" chemically formed," does not discourage him from evolv- 
ing all animals whatever from a single specimen of them 
once he has got one — the mud-fish say, which for him, 
too, has only to " appear." " I have long regretted," he 
says (iii. 18), "that I truckled to public opinion, and 
used the pentateuchal term of creation, by which I really 
meant ' appeared ' by some wholly unknown process." 
This is how he recants the wind-up of his great book, 
the Origin, " into that grandeur of view " which sees " the 
Creator breathe life into a few forms or into one." No, 
no ! there can be no " creation," but only " modification ; " 
all the materials of which are imaginatively prepared for 


it in the first imagined "appearance" out of the first 
imagined proteine. Then how he got to all this! II" 
tells Dr. Asa Gray (ii. 79), once already, 

■• All my notions about how species ch •• derived 

from long-continued study of the works of (and converse 
with) agriculturists and horticulturists;" and accordingly 
he admits, " I have found it very important associating 
with fanciers and breedei 

Nay, he even confesses that he did not disdain to find 
himself seated in pursuit of knowledge under difficul- 
ties "amongst a set of pigeon fanciers in a gin palace in 
the borough !" (ii. 281). It is, then, in consequence of 
what he has learned in this way about pouters and fan- 
tails, the horns of cattle and the wool of sheep, together 
with bands, stripes, or liars upon the backs and legs of horses 
and donkeys (ii. Ill), that he feels himself empov< 
at last to declare that " all vertebrata have descended from 
one parent" (ii. 211), and that analogy leads him to the 
conclusion of the descenl also " from one parent of the 
great kingdoms (as vertebrata, articulata, and the rest)" 
(ii. 212). Nay, so high did he mount in his rapture of 
discovery (imagination),"that he applied the theory of evolu- 
tion to the whole organic kingdom from plants to man !" 
(ii. 6). "What a wonderful thing that first only chemically- 
formed proteine must have been, which already contained 
in its invisible " seed-bags," as Jean Paul Richter might 
plants, animals, and man, Adam and Eve, and all! Nay, 
what a much more wonderful thing, if possible, is that 
spoon of mere individual difference by chance, which 
alone enables Mr. Darwin to dig into the initial material 
identity, and deal it out into the infinity of the infinitely 
I plant life and infinitely varied animal life which 
ie around us! Once Mr. Darwin has finished with 
the vertebrata — only the vertebrata ! — what a wonderful 
leap that is, a salto mortale, a flying leap on the single 


trapeze of " analogy," that enables him without more ado to 
find the articulata, insecta, mollusca, molluscoida, and what 
not, all in the same Noah's ark of a pedigree with man ! 
It is not an expensive matter to philosophize in that way. 
The grandfather, Erasmus the first, said omnia ex conchis, 
or ex conchis omnia, " all from oysters ; " Mr. Darwin 
surpasses his grandfather and cries all, oysters too, from 
proteine. For if one will consider of it, there is, at 
bottom on Mr. Darwin's part, certainly with illustrations 
enow, pictures enow, little more than a cry. Let us look 
back on what we have seen — let us turn up any one page 
as alluded to in Mr. Darwin, and we shall find, with all 
his illustrations, that the method of Mr. Darwin is one 
of hypothesis, supposition, probable conjecture only. It 
is so easy to prove this that, without troubling to look 
back and turn up pages behind us, I just open a book of 
Mr. Darwin's at random — I just positively take it up 
from my table, open it at random, and read what I see. 
I find I have opened at page 594 of the second edition 
of the Descent of Man, " At a very early period, before 
man attained to his present rank in the scale, many of 
his conditions would be different from what now obtains 
amongst savages. Judging from the analogy of the lower 
animals he would then either live with a single female 
or be a polygamist." (He would not have been a 
bachelor, it seems ?) " The most powerful and able males 
would succeed best in obtaining attractive females." 
(We know that the weakest succeed now in that respect 
quite as well as the strongest !) " They would also 
succeed best in the general struggle for life. ... At 
this early period the ancestors of man would not be suffi- 
ciently advanced in intellect to look forward to distant 
contingencies ; they would not foresee that the rearing of 
all their children, especially their female children, would 
make the struggle of life severer for the tribe. They 

difference: goes ox — never returns! 

would be governed more by their instincts. They would 
not at that period," and bo on. That is a perfect speci- 
men of how tin- mind of Mr. Darwin works. Difference 
would be — difference would go on incalculably into new 
identities, aot possibly turn lurk, as all facts pa 
present seem od the whole to suggest, into the old ones 
again. With him it La always bo and bo " would be." 
One correspondent seems to have objected t" him his 
constant " 1 believe, or I am convinced," and to have 
advised rather what he mighl depend upon as " I prove" 
(ii. L'-iO). " I cannot doubt " is another such expression 
of his. " I cannot doubt," he says, " that during millions 
of generations individuals of a species will be born with 
some slight variation profitable to some part of its 
economy." That is his whole doctrine in its one creative 
bud: individuals vary to advantage; and it rests on a 
mere subjective " 1 cannot doubt," and that, too, in 
regard to a mere mental picture of millions ! — millions 
of fenerations ! — that some one individual, from time to 
time among them all, we may be sate to assume, will 
experience "some slight variation profitable to some part 
of its economy." The whole tendency of the natural 
indefinite picture, which, as such, we cannot well gainsay, 
is to blind us to the pure assumption of the Bingle pro- 
position — individual differences will so accumulate to 
advantage in millions of generations as to constitute a 
new species. Of course it is useless t" ask for the proof 
which the correspondent suggested; proof there can be 
none given; naturally, that record of millions of genera- 
tions can have a place only in the imagination: and by 
wa} of proof there can he nothing for it hut illustratively 
to allude to all manner of conjectural likelihoods and 
specious possibilities, which in a great many cases will be 

found to admit of a no, not one whit less satisfactorily 
than of a yes. To read what Mr. Ihirwin, in tic A' 


look, quotes from Mr. Lewes in regard to Erasmus Darwin, 
one is led to believe that Mr. Lewes had a very high 
opinion of that respected grandsire. That is certainly 
the impression Mr. Darwin^desires' to convey. "We come 
to the very opposite conclusion, however, when we turn 
up the passage and read in Mr. Lewes himself, who 
tells us how Erasmus, " as he proceeds, gets more and 
more absurd ; " how, " as a poet, his Botanic Garden by 
its tawdry splendour gained him a tawdry reputation ; " 
and how, ' : as a philosopher, his Zoonomia gained him a 
reputation equally noisy and fleeting." The grandson 
speaks of his grandfather's " overpowering tendency to 
theorize and generalize." And certainly no one will 
dispute as much if he reads the Zoonomia. All life 
for Erasmus proceeds from an organic filament ; there is 
a different one for the different kingdoms ; yet, probably, 
he says at last, " one and the same kind of living filament 
is and has been the cause of all organic life." And here 
I, for my part, prefer the grandfather's filament to the 
grandson's protcine. Mr. Darwin conjectures seals to 
begin to feed on shore (ii. 339), and so, consequently, to 
vary; and yet he admits (ii. 336), "I know of no fact 
showing any the least incipient variation of seals feeding 
on the shore." The grandfather will have it, again, that 
all animals were at first fish, and became amphibious by 
feeding on shore, and so gradually terrestrial. This is 
vastly more wholesale than what the grandson says 
about seals, and yet I know not that the grandfather's 
teeming imagination ever gave birth to a more Brob- 
dingnagian monster than this on the part of the grand- 
son. At page 141 of the latest issue of the Origin of 
Species we read : " In North America the black bear was 
seen by Hearne swimming for hours with widely open 
mouth, thus catching almost like a whale insects in the 
water." A bear swimming and catching insects, even as 


a whale might — this on the part <>f Mr. Darwin is to 
make easy to us the transition of one animal into 
another. Truly, as I said, Mr. Darwin d< 
scout genealogy ! He could cot stomach it in the 
of Dr. Robert Chambers and the ] a fish into a 

reptile; but in fifteen years — the interval between his 
reading and his writing — he has learned something — he 
has acquired himself a Bwallow wide enough for both a 
whale and a bear. The ; -. according to 

a note in the Life and Letters (ii 234), was omitted in 
the second edition. Nevertheless, it is to be read in the 
last issue now. Mr. Darwin, then, must have deliberately 
restored it. I say deliberately, for we rind him, November 
24, 1859, consulting Lyell about it. " Will you send 
me one line to say whether 1 must strike out about the 
whale? it goes to my heart!" Next day also we find 
him assuring this same Lyell, "I will certainly leave 
out the whale and hear." Nay. in September of the 
following year he cannot help writing once more on the 
subject to Lyell, but this time — so much has it gone t«> 
his heart — appealingly. " I ►bserve," lie cries, — " observe 
that in my wretched polar bear ease I do show the first 
step by which conversion into a whale 'would be 
'would offer no difficulty!'" He had already said in 
the first of these three letters, "In transitions it is the 
premier pas qwi coute" and we are to understand, there- 
fore, that supplied with tl. sp of the transition of 
a bear into a whale we could be at no loss in picturing 
to ourselves the easy remainder of the entire process. 
An easy remainder, surely, seeing we had to refer I 
only to our own imaginations ! It is to the imagination, 
at all events, that the grandfather testifies great grati- 
tude. He cheerfully allows it a chief place in " meta- 
morphoses," ami surely with reason! It shall be the 
imagination of the mother that colours tl. I her 


progeny ; he even brings in the imagination of the 
father in a wonderful (Shandy -an) manner ! Then it is by 
imagination afterwards of the original irritation of the 
lachrymal glands at birth that we are able during life to 
weep when in grief, as it is by imagination of our first cold 
shivering, also at birth, that when in fear we always 
tremble, etc. I suppose it is still the effects of imagina- 
tion he alludes to when he says : " The tadpole acquires 
less and lungs — when he wants them ! and loses his tail 
— when it is no longer of service to him ! " And certainly 
it is only by a signal effort of the imagination that he 
himself has been enabled to discover this astonishing 
rationale and causality of squinting (Zoonomia, ii. 143). 
" Squinting is generally owing to one eye being less 
perfect than the other, on which account the patient 
endeavours to hide the worst eye in the shadow of 
the nose ! " We may break off here, and resume next 


Dr. Erasmus Darwin — Student Bcribbles on Zoonomia — Family dif- 
ferences, attraction and repulsion — Tin- Darwins In this 
respect — Dr. Erasmus of his sons, Mr. Charles and Dr. K. W. 
— Dr. R. W. as to his sons — Charles on his grandfather, 
father, brother — Mr. Erasmus on his brother's book — < >n the 
a priori — On facts -Darwin's one method Darwin and 
Hooker on tacts — Family politics — Family religion — Family 
habits — Family theories — Mr. Darwin's endowments — His 
Journal — The Zoonomia — Theories of Dr. Erasmus Paley 
Instinct — An iilm to Dr. E. — Dugald Stewarl — Picture- 
thinking — Dr. E.'s method — Darwin's doubts — Bis brave spirit 
— The theory to his friends — Now— Almost every propos of tin- 
grandson has its germ in the grandfather (Krause) — Vet the 
position of the latter — Byron on — Mr. Lewes also — The greater 
Newton, original Darwinism now to be revived — Dr. E. 
admirable on design — Charles on cats made by God to play 
with mice ! — Dr. E. on atheism — The apology— But will con- 
clude with a single point followed thoroughly out: theQalap 
— Darwin held to be impregnably fortified there — The Gala] 
thrown up to opponents at every turn— But wean- uol natural- 
ists.! — Dr. E. rehabilitates us — Description of the Galap 
from the Journal — The islands, their si/e, uumber, position, 
geographical and relative — depth of water and distance between 
— Climate, currents, wind — Geology, botany, zoology — Vol . 
dull sickly vegetation, hills, craters, lava, pita, heat, salt- 
pools, water — Tortoises, lizards, birds — Quite a region to 
suggest theory. 

When we left off' on the last occasion we were engaged 
in drawing illustrations in regard to the source and 
nature of the doctrine of natural selection from the 
special theories and peculiar character of Erasmus 
Darwin, the elder. We saw how it was the imagina- 
tion that predominated, whether in the theories or in 


the man. A curious testimony to this on the part of 
general readers may be found in the scrawls and scribbles 
on the University copy of the Zoonomia. Some one has 
been wicked enough to tear out a good number of pages 
from one of the volumes. Of scrawls, there occur : 
" Imaginary — Darwin, beware ! That is the rock you 
have split upon, Hypothesis, where other barks as well as 
yours have been wrecked ;" and again, "Darwin's dreams!" 
One writer laments that Erasmus strayed beyond the 
Botanic Garden ; had he not done so," the writer says, 

" Then disappointment had not marked thy name ; 
And Darwin's laurels rivalled Newton's fame." 

There may have been remarked a peculiarity in 
some families according as it shall be the principle of 
attraction or the principle of repulsion that rules in 
them. Of some the members are, as the Germans say, 
sprbde, mutually repellent ; they have no confidences with 
each other. That they are sons, brothers, sisters is, in 
respect of one another, a reason for depreciation and dis- 
regard, almost for offensive familiarity and contempt. 
They never think of the opinion of one of themselves 
as an opinion at all ; and with one another there is no 
end to the liberties they take. With others, all that is 
reversed. Their geese are all swans. They support 
each other. In season and out of season they cry each 
other up. They never think of the members of other 
families, they never can see anything in them. All on 
the outside of themselves are the (3e{3r]\oi, indifferent 
people, people of no account. Charles Darwin was a 
loyal, modest man, who was quite incapable of being 
unjust to others. Such a trait, too, is probably to be 
found, more or less, in all the Darwins. Still, on the whole, 
perhaps, the Darwins, at least of three generations, may 
be not too unrighteously admitted to have exhibited 


something of the mutual - admiration principla The 
grandfather prints with pride the Literary productions 
of his sons, "Mr." Charles and "Br. /•'. W." Darwin. "What 
a father Dr. R, W. again was to his two sons, Erasmus 

and Charles, the latter of them has expresslj chronicled 
in the warmesl terms. Of his grandfather he is cor- 
respondently eulogistic: "He (the grandfather) had 
uncommon powers of ohservation," he says. Bui i 
his father, Dr. R. W., Dr. R. W. was to Charles " Lncom- 
parahly the acutest observer lie ever knew" " the best 
judge of character he ever knew," " the wisest man he 
ever knew;" and he was also, as we have Been, " the 
largest man he ever knew!" Of his brother Erasmus, 
the opinion of Charles is that he was the " clearest- 
headed man whom he had ever known." Then this 
Erasmus, for his part, must be granted to have been 
equally true to the family principla When hi- brother's 
book, the Origin, reaches him, and he reads it, he cannot 
help exclaiming to the author of it (ii 233)," 1 really 
think it is the most interesting hook I ever read. . . . 
In fact, the a priori reasoning is so entirely satisfactory 
to me that if the facts won't lit in, why, so much the 
worse for the facts, is my feeling." And here Erasmus, 
as I may observe, only expresses the same opinion as I 
have expressed in regard to his brother's method. There 
is an a priori theory, and then there La a miscellany of 
remark in regard to facts to support it. Erasmus i- very 
honest in Ms avowals. The theory is the all ami all to 
him, the facts hut poor wretches that have only to knock 
under and adapt themselves, [ndeed, this opinion about 
facts does not seem confined to Erasmus the younger; 
there would appear even some fatality incident t<> facts so 

far as they occur in natural history at all. Charles himself 

avows to his friend Hooker (ii. 45), " It is really dis- 
gusting and humiliating to see directly opposite con- 


elusions drawn from the same facts ; " to which remark 
Sir Joseph Hooker's reply must have been peculiar, for 
Charles (ii. 70) rejoins to it, "It is a melancholy, and I 
hope not quite true view of yours, that facts will prove 
anything, and are therefore superfluous ! " But as 
regards the family, there is more than mutual love in it : 
there are family politics — they are all Whigs ; and there 
is a family religion — they are all, we may say, in regard 
to the Creed, heterodox. Other things, too, run in it as 
a family, such as early rising, hatred of alcoholic beverages, 
and a practical love of natural history. In fact, there 
can be no doubt that we are right in this, that a family 
agreement, down to the most individual particulars, was the 
very hinge, as it were, on which the whole three of them, 
grandfather, father, and son, turned. The constitution 
even of their very minds seems to have been pretty well 
identical. As we have seen, the grandfather had an 
" overpowering tendency to theorize " (i. 6) ; the father 
" formed a theory/' the son says, " for almost everything 
that occurred" (i. 20); and the son himself, as regards 
hypotheses, confesses (i. 103), " I cannot resist forming 
one on every subject." Mr. Darwin also admits that the 
" passion for collecting " was in him " clearly innate ; " 
and again, that his " scientific tastes " were certainly 
innate. In fact, there cannot be a doubt that, than 
Charles Darwin, there never was a man born with a 
purer and stronger innate or inherited faculty to observe. 
Why, the love for everything that crawls was so absorbing 
in him that he put a black beetle into his mouth as 
another man might put a bon-bon ! At Down there was 
not a bird's nest in his garden, or all about, that he did 
not know. Almost, it might be said, that there was not 
to be found on his grounds even a single worm that was 
not his familiar acquaintance. We have many journals 
of naturalists on scientific voyages, but never such a 


journal as that of Mr. Darwin in the Beagle. It is a 
practical lesson in geology, such as can be got nowhere 
else, even to read it. Then as regards animals and 
plants, during the whole expedition, not one sample of 

the one kind or the other seems to have escaped his 
recognition. There never was such a brain as that of 
Charles Darwin, stuffed full, teeming, and running over 
with a thousand facts that no one before aim ever had 
a mind to think of, to notice, or to record. Then his 
ingenuity in adjusting fact to fact or in eliminating con- 
trarieties and contradictions was marvellous — utterly 
unexampled — such success in these ways was never 
exhibited in a book before. Fancy the grandfather with 
similar powers, but free from the practice of medicine 
and the production of poetry, what a book the Zoonomia 
might have been ! And see what it is instead ! A crude 
melange of crass theories, and undigested, inconsistent, 
miscellaneous particulars! The author of it starts with 
his d priori theory of "all from oysters;" he submits it 
to the test of his miscellany, and that is the result ! Fish 
which are generally suspended in water, and swallows 
which are generally suspended in air, have their backs, 
we are told, the colour of the distant ground and their 
bellies that of the sky. Why this ? That the swallows 
may escape hawks which, being above them, will mistake 
their backs for the ground, while below them they will 
mistake their bellies for the sky! I suppose it is the 
pike that, as above or below, is similarly to be duped "t 
his fish! Dr. Erasmus actually fancies insects to be 
undoubtedly formed from the sexual appendages "t 
plants, the honey-loving stamens and pistils of the 
tlowers, as he calls them, some acquiring wings, others 
lius, and others claws from their ceaseless efforts to pro- 
cure their food, or to secure themselves from injury : 
"changes," he avers, "nut more incomprehensible than 


the transformation of tadpoles. into frogs and caterpillars 
into butterflies ! " On another physico-metaphysical con- 
ceit of Erasmus Darwin's we have a commentary Dy 
Paley. " I am not ignorant," he says {Natural Theology, 
cap. 18), " of the theory which resolves instinct into sensa- 
tion. Thus the incubation of eggs is accounted fo# by the 
pleasure which the bird is supposed to receive from the 
pressure of the smooth convex surfaces. . . . The affec- 
tion of viviparous animals for their young is, in like 
manner, solved by the relief which they receive in 
suckling. . . . The salmon's urging her way up the 
stream of fresh-water rivers is attributed to some grati- 
fication or refreshment which, in this particular state of 
the fish's body, she receives from the change of element." 
It is not worth while quoting what Paley says in answer 
to all this. The groundless arbitrariness, perhaps even 
the semi-seriousness of such propos cannot escape us. 
As regards incubation, we know it to be a fact that such 
noxious and poisonous animals as snakes, serpents, boa- 
constrictors, and cobras will, as with a mother's solicitude, 
so obstinately sit on their eggs that they will rather die 
than leave them. Is such devoted affection in appear- 
ance only relief of a colic in fact ? If you rescue a 
young sparrow fallen from the nest and expose it in a 
cage at your window, I wonder if it is only for relief to a 
pain in the stomach that the she-sparrow and the he- 
sparrow will, for many days, cling incessantly to the cage 
with food in their bills for their little one within it! Dr. 
Erasmus Darwin ventures, even in respect of what is 
purely metaphysical, to tell us what an idea is. To him 
it is, as it were, only the stamp on the body of the things 
without. He defines it " a contraction, or motion, or 
configuration of the fibres which constitute the imme- 
diate organ of sense." Of this definition Dugald Stewart 
remarks that it is " calculated to impose on a very wide 


circle of readers by the mixture it exhibits of crude and 
vjpionary metaphysics," and I think we may, without 
intolerable injustice, extend the criticism to all those 
semi-physical and semi-metaphysical reels in bottles, 
which men like the author of Zoonomia are so innocently 
biisy, roe-like, to construct. Most unformed men do not 
reason, to call it reason. Proof with them is the 
instinctive recourse to a picture. They are, as Cant 
has it, only on such stage as the Egyptians or the Chi 
whose miods as yet are not fine enough for pure notions, 
and can only understand by the help of physical repre- 
sentations — not possibly by the mere letters of an 
alphabet. They think in tropes, they see in metaphors. 
The circulation of their brains is a circulation in im 
Their metaphysics in general are bo thickened with 
physics that they can only settle into what is bizarre 
and biassed, counterfeit and mock. For gold th< 
only offer us pinckbeck. I >r. Erasmus was a medical 
man, and medical men, at least, had not always then the 
advantage of courses in logic, metaphysics, and morals, 
they had not always then transformed their hieroglyphics 
into the letters of the alphabet It is just possible that 
there is a little of that physical thinking even now-a- 
days, and not on the part of the Bob Sawyers alone. 

The procedure of Dr. Erasmus Darwin, then, is alto- 
gether the method ami manner of a man who starts with 
an it priori theory, and looks miscellaneously to heaven, 

and earth, and the -a, and all that in them is, for 
illustrations, mere pietures in proof. As Dr. Asa Gray 
objects to the natural selection of his grandson, in all 
that quasi-ratiocination, there is no point of departure 
undeniably and manifestly made good as a vera i 
< >r as Professor Sedgwick similarly objected, there is no 
movement on the Baconian principle, no regular induc- 
tion, from point to point, and step bo step, accurately, 

2 A 


precisely, and convincingly carried out. " Many of his 
wide conclusions are built upon assumptions which can 
neither be proved nor disproved." There are times when, 
in respect of his own work, such objections start up in 
all their force even to Mr. Charles Darwin himself, 
almost as definite barriers to his own advance. To Asa 
Gray he fully admits (ii. 217) "that there are very 
many difficulties not satisfactorily explained by my 
theory." These difficulties, he confesses to Jenyns (ii. 
219), "stagger him to this very day." Even to Mr. 
Huxley, as we saw, he writes, " 1 entirely agree with you 
that the difficulties on my notions are terrific" (ii. 354). 
In regard to these same difficulties, we have this further 
admission to Dr. Asa Gray (ii. 315), " I could myself," 
says Charles, " write a more damning review " — of his 
own book, that is — " than has as yet appeared." Who- 
ever can read between the lines, however, in these 
writings of Mr. Charles Darwin's, will have no difficulty 
in discovering that he (Darwin) was. despite his doubts, 
as brave a man as ever lived. He cowers beneath his 
checks at times ; but ever he whispers to himself, like 
a true Englishman as he is, " It's dogged as does it ! " 
It is in few things more interesting than to watch hiin, 
during the incubation of his theory, in his various letters 
to his chosen friends. His despondent moods are in- 
teresting, and ever again his renewed courage. But 
what, perhaps, is still more interesting, is the persistent 
resolution he manifests to win these friends over, together 
with the shrewd, almost insidious, but never ignoble, 
adaptations and accommodations he sets into operation 
according to the peculiar character of each. Lyell, 
Hooker, Huxley, Carpenter, Gray are all most delicately 
handled. He says once to one of these, " Often and 
often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have 
asked myself whether I may not have devoted my life 


to a phantasy . . . but investigators of truth, like 
Lyell and Hooker, cannol be wholly wrong, and there- 
fore I rest in peace." Still 1 know nol that thai peace 
was a well-assured one. There is ample evidence in 
these letters thai Lyell, Carpenter, Gray, and, we may 
say, all his less-noted friends, were never believers in his 
theory, pure and simple. We haw seen difficulties 
called ominous even with Mr. Huxley; and as regards 
Sir Joseph Hooker, it may be that he will march with 
his friend to the very end still — not thai these letters 
show him to have been ever much more assured than 
Lyell, or Gray, or the resl were. And how is it, now. 
that the Origin of Species has been thirty years before 
the public ? As regards the great outside world, while 
still caviare to the orthodox, it is understood anion" 
those who are above the Bible that natural selection is 
a demonstrated and established doctrine. It is not so 
certain, however, that as much is understood anion"- 
experts. I don't know but what we begin to hear 
murmurs in camp. I cannot follow this farther now. 
however. I will only call to mind the last Presidential 
Address of the British Association, and its warnings 
against incautious assertions as to organic life. 

And not quite to be misunderstood, 1 will add this, 
wdiatever I have said, I have no intention to deny that 
there may be at this moment man}' and good and 
worthy men, believers both in Mr. Darwin and their 
Bible. To me, however, the consideration of his grand- 
lather's theories, as well in themselves as in their fortune 
and fate, give, if not warrant and assurance, at Least 
suspicion, of a foundation of sand. With the single ex- 
ception of whal is meant bythe one word "modification," 
I know of no genetic doctrine in the works of the grand- 
son that will not be found, at greater or less length, 
suggested, mooted, propounded, discussed in the work-. 


of the grandfather. Dr. Ernst Krause wrote in the 
specially Darwinian number of the evolutionary journal, 
Kosmos, an essay, " The Scientific Works of Erasmus 
Darwin," which Mr. Charles Darwin so much relished 
that he wrote Dr. Krause " thanking him cordially . . . 
and asking his permission to publish an English transla- 
tion of the essay." In this he was joined by his brother 
Erasmus the younger. Dr. Krause is a foremost evolu- 
tionist, and, with much else, writes a special work, 
Charles Darwin and his Relation to Germany. The 
translation in question was entrusted to Mr. W. S. 
Dallas, also a distinguished Darwinian, who executes 
the admirable index to the Variation of Animals and 
Plants, the translation of Fritz Muller's Fur Darwin, 
and the glossary to the sixth edition of the Origin. 
To the resultant book by Mr. Dallas, Mr. Darwin con- 
tributes, in the shape of a " preliminary notice," more 
than one half of the whole. " Many persons," says Mr. 
Darwin in his autobiography, " have been much interested 
by this little life, and I am surprised that only 800 or 
900 copies were sold." Other book-makers may be sur- 
prised, but hardly for Mr. Darwin's reason ! From all 
this, I think we may conclude that Dr. Krause can claim 
an absolute Darwinian approbation and endorsement, 
when, in said little book, he writes of Mr. Charles Dar- 
win, that he " has succeeded to an intellectual inheritance, 
and carried out a programme sketched forth, and left 
behind by his grandfather. Almost every single work 
of the younger Darwin may be paralleled by at least a 
chapter in the works of his ancestor, . . . heredity, 
adaptation, the protective arrangements of animals and 
plants, sexual selection, insectivorous plants, and the 
analysis of the emotions and sociological impulses ; nay, 
even the studies on infants are to be found already dis- 
cussed in the writings of the elder Darwin, . . . who, a 


LamarckiaD before Lamarck first established a complete 
system of the theory of evolution." Of the parallel 
between the younger and the elder Darwin, that is to 
say more than even I mooted, and in such circumstam 
to give an authority to the general position utterly beyond 
dispute. Are we to suppose, then, that the course of 
literary and philosophical history in Great Britain has 
gone all wrong ? Before the culmination and success of 
Mr. Charles Darwin, whether in literature or philosophy 
the name of Erasmus Darwin had pretty well ceased to 
be heard of. As we knew that there had been a John 
Philips and a Splendid Shilling, or a Scotchman Wilkie 
and a thing called Epigoniad, or a Bishop Wilkins and 
his Discovery of a New World, so we knew of a Botanic 
Garden and a Zoonomia; but as we only knew of the 
former, so we only knew of the latter: we had never 
read either. As regards Zoonomia, we had taken Dugald 
Stewart and Dr. Thomas Brown's word for it : it was 
something merely crude and visionary, the mushroom 
product of uninitiated crassitude; and as for the Botanic 
Garden, we had, perhaps, heard the recitation from it of 
' Eliza on the wood-crowned height," or of the grand 
passage, " lioll on, ye stars! exult in youthful prime," oi 
of the melancholy passage, " So the sad mother at the 
noon of night;" and had thought to ourselves always 
how happy was that line of Byron's that dubbed Erasmus 
but " a mighty master of unmeaning rhyme I" 1 In fact 

1 In English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, Byron exclaims in prose, 
" The neglect of the Botanic Garden is Borne proof of returning taste," 
while in verse he has these pretty plain lines : — 

" Let these, or such as these, with just appla 
Restore the M use's violated laws ; 
But not in flimsy Darwin's pompous chime, 
Thai mighty master of unmeaning rhyme ; 
Whose gilded cymbals, more adorned than char. 
The eye delighted, but fatigued the eai ; 


on the whole matter we just took it for granted that 
when Mr. Lewes said, " tawdry splendour gained him a 
tawdry reputation," which, in another respect, proved 
" equally noisy and fleeting," — we just took it for granted 
that when this was said all was said, and that, as regards 
Dr. Erasmus Darwin, we might, with perfect tranquillity, 
leave him henceforth quite undisturbed in the limbo of 
other poetasters and philosophasters. If, however, we 
are to believe the Herr Dr. Krause, all this is wrong, — 
all this is a sin, and a shame, and a disgrace, — all this 
is a flagrant injustice to one of the greatest scientific 
discoverers that ever lived — a discoverer that antici- 
pated the discoveries of even the illustrious Charles 
Darwin, whom it has not been esteemed excessive praise 
of late to style " The Greater Newton." Nay, there are 
others, it seems, who surpass even the Herr Dr. Krause 
in his admiration of Dr. Erasmus. Dr. Krause tells us 
himself of a wish seriously expressed on the part of some 
to revive original Darwinism now. It is not so with 
him, however, let him admire the elder Darwin and 
Darwinism as he may. On the contrary, any such wish 
to him " shows a weakness of thought and a mental 
anachronism which no one can envy." And yet, I, for 
my part, after all that even Krause himself has told me, 
know not that, in reference to the origin and transforma- 
tions of plants and animals, the thought and thoughts of 
the grandson differ from those of the grandfather, unless 
in so far as the former (Charles), unlike the latter, rejects 
the interposition of a designing cause : Charles Darwin 

In shore, the simple lyre could once surpass, 
But now worn down, appear in native brass ; 
While all his train of hovering sylphs around 
Evaporate in similes and sound : 
Him let them shun, with him let tinsel die : 
False glare attracts, but more offends, the eye." 


has only one device for the creation of that whole mar- 
vellous panorama of life on earth; and, in two words, it 
is, individual difference! I. for my part, then, who stand 
up here for the certainty of Natural Theology and the 
cogency of all its arguments, ontological, cosmological, 
teleological, must believe Erasmus Darwin, the grand- 
father, tu have been, in his reverence for design, much 
nearer the truth than Charles Darwin the grandsons I 
cannot forget the many passages 1 have Been in the 
former expressive of his deep sense of the reality in this 
world of an organization on ideas. All that contrasts to 
me wonderfully with the strangely young, the innocently 
simple admissions, which, as fruit of adequate reflection, 
the grandson so unmisgivingly imparts to the inexperi- 
enced youths who write to him Eor guidance. !!<■ seems 
to have been greatly exercised in mind that, given a 
beneficent and omnipotent Deity,flies should feed within 
the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a rut Bhould play 
with mice (ii. 312). The grandfather, Eor Ids part, 
though, like the grandson, he " disbelieved in any revela- 
tion," could never see his way tu give up Ids faith in the 
existence of God. He even published an ode on the 
folly of Atheism, of which this is the first verse: — 

•• Dull Atheist, could a dizzy <lance 
( >F atoms lawless hurled 
Construcl so wonderful, bo wise, 
So harmonized a world I ' : 

And now I have to say a word of apology. 1 cannot 
do that justice in these lectures t<> the whole theme of 
Darwinism for which I had prepared myself. I have by 

me, one way and another, nut much Less than a hundred 

and a half of closely-written quarto pages of extracts and 
memoranda, which were to serve me as mere car and 
nucleus to a complete statement on the whole subject. 


The attempt to carry out this programme gave me great 
pain, and cost me much anxiety for long, inasmuch as, 
with the space at my command, I was simply endeavour- 
ing to reconcile impossibilities. I do not believe that 
even the whole course of lectures would have enabled me 
to exhaust the materials I had gathered. What I had to 
content myself with in the end was simply to sit down 
and write according as the information in my head 
prompted me. Even to turn up my authorities proved 
for the most part as distressing and as futile as to 
operate on a needle in a bundle of hay. It is for that, 
then, I apologise — that I have been able to present to 
you the subject only in a certain miscellaneousness. 

In conclusion, however, I will now take up one point 
and follow it out. Every one who has at all approached 
this subject has heard of the Galapagos, the Galapagos 
Islands, or the Galapagos Archipelago. In the index to 
the Life and Letters, the fauna of them are named " the 
starting-point of investigations into the origin of species ; " 
and Mr. Darwin himself more than once avows that it 
was what he had observed there led him to study the 
origin of species (i. 82, ii. 23, iii. 159); while it is well 
known that the adherents of Mr. Darwin generally throw 
up the bastion of the Galapagos as a barrier so strong 
that no enemy can carry it. But that being so, it is 
evident that there may be that there which, if seen and 
understood, would convince us too. We, too, have no 
interest but the truth. I, for my part, am quite willing 
to be convinced, if there be any evidence to convince, 
whether in the Galapagos or anywhere else. 

For the information which is necessary to us here, we 
have to turn to that admirable volume which Mr. Darwin 
names his Journal of Researches. I have already men- 
tioned how it is a work singular and single in its ex- 
cellence. Mr. Darwin devotes one whole chapter in it, 


the seventeenth, to the Galapagos Archipelago; and it is 
to that chapter I have to direct your special attention. 
We have not the advantage of either the knowledge or 
ability of Mr. Darwin; bul if these islands were of Buch 
a nature as to impress Mr. Darwin only in one direction, 
surely we musl expect them, in the same direction, more 
or less to impress as too. No doubt there is an objection 
not unfrequently taken which would summarily sist the 
appeal to tin' possibility of any such influence for us: 
we are nol naturalists, and only naturalists can jud 
what is concerned in the Galapagos! Mr. Darwin 
himself, however, writes to Asa Gray: "I think it of 
importance thai my notions should be read by intelligent 
men, accustomed to scientific argument, though 
naturalists." There is, to be sure, a certain presumption, 
after all, in the assumption, and in the proceeding to 
judgment on the assumption of just as much as that — but 
perhaps a reference to the grandfather will pul us right 
again, and pretty well confirm to us sonic locus standi in 
as great a matter as the present. We have Been that, 
in view of its excellence even in the direction of the 
grandson, whose peculiar lines it precisely anticipated, it 
has heen seriously proposed to restore the elder Dar- 
winism, Now, of the Bible of that Darwinism, the 
Zoonomia, this is the Dedication: "To all those who 
study the operations of the mind as a science, or who 
practise medicine as a profession." If only the word 
"practise" had been in the past tense, one might have 
heen excused for the thought that, in no very distant 
regard, Dr. Darwin had l>ccn. to Bay so, almost pro- 
phetically personal! Ni sutor supra crepidam i 
course, the rule ; bul it need nut prove exceptionless. I 
have the idea that ^Ir. Huxley would look a little 
torvovs, did any man dispute his right to a judgment on 
Descartes ! 


The Galapagos are a group of small islands, of various 
sizes, and some thirteen in number, of which only two 
seem unnamed. Six of them may be regarded as out- 
lying, and seven central. Of the former on the north, 
three, as scarcely referred to by Mr. Darwin, may be left 
out of count. On the east, Chatham Island is distant 
(say) 22 miles, and on the south, Charles Island 32 from 
the nearest central island. Twelve miles may be the 
greatest, and two or three the least, distance from one to 
the other among the central islands themselves. These 
measures, however, are dependent on Mr. Darwin's own 
map and scale in his Journal, and cannot be considered 
rigorously exact. The situations, and especially the dis- 
tances, in each other's regard, are the important points 
in the consideration so far. We advance to a second 
important point when we recognise the position of these 
islands to be right under the equator in the Pacific Ocean, 
and (the third important point) at a distance of between 
five or six hundred miles west of South America. The 
climate of these islands, despite their position on the 
equator, is represented as far from being excessively hot, 
the great Polar current from the south, namely, surround- 
ing them with a sea of a singularly low temperature. 
For winds these islands are exposed, of course, to the 
southern Trades, which blow over them as far as four 
degrees farther north ; but above a certain height they 
are apt to be overhung w T ith vapours. It is only under 
these vapours, and especially to windward, that vegetation 
can be said to thrive, for everywhere else these islands 
are of a monotonously repulsive sterile aspect. They are 
all volcanic, and supposed to be geologically recent. 
Some of the craters surmounting the larger islands are 
of immense size, and they rise to a height of between 
three and four thousand feet. The flanks of these as 
they rise are studded by innumerable orifices, and there 

THE GA.LAPAG08. 379 

must be in the whole archipelago at least two thousand 
craters. These craters have their southern Bides either 
much lower than the other Bides, or quite broken down 
and removed in consequence of the combined action of 
the Pacific Bwell and the Bouthern Trades. Landing on 
these islands, nothing can be less inviting than the first 
appearance, says Mr. Darwin. A broken field of black 
basaltic lava, thrown into the most rugged waves, and 
crossed by great fissures, is everywhere covered by Btunted, 
sunburnt brushwood, which Bhows little signs of life. 
The dry and parched surface, heated by the noonday 
sun, gives to the air a close and sultry feeling, like that 
from a stove: one fancies even that the bushes smell 
unpleasantly. The brushw 1 appears, from a short dis- 
tance, as leafless as our trees during winter, even when it 
is in full leaf, nay, for the most part, even when it is in 
flower. The entire surface, he says once, -'•,■111- to have 
been permeated like a sieve by the subterranean vapours: 
here and there the lava, while Boft, has been blown 
into great bubbles; and in other parts the tops of caverns 
similarly formed have fallen in, leaving circular pits with 
steep sides. Of two of the islands Mr. Darwin reports: 
"Both are covered with immense deluges "! Mack naked 
lava, which have flowed either over the rims .,(' the great 
caldrons, like pitch over the rim of a pot in winch it has 
been boiled, or have bursl forth from the smaller orifices 
on the Hanks: in their descent they have spread over 
miles of the sea-coast." "Scrambling over the rough 
surface" of this extraordinary region is most fatiguing, 
and Mr. Darwin describes how horribly disappointing it 
is when, "choked with dust" and thirst, one "hurries 
down the cindery slope eagerly to drink" from some 

solitary } 1 over a crater, one finds he has in his mouth 

only what is "-alt as brine." As one walk-, one finds 
the rocks abound with great black lizards, between three 


and four feet long, and on the hills an ugly yellowish- 
brown species equally common." On one occasion, " as 
I was walking along," he says, " I met two large tortoises, 
each of which must have weighed at least two hundred 
pounds (more than 1 4 stone) : one was eating a piece of 
cactus, and as I approached, it stared at me and slowly 
stalked away ; the other gave a deep hiss, and drew in 
its head. These huge reptiles, surrounded by the black 
lava, the leafless shrubs and large cacti, seemed to my 
fancy like some antediluvian animals. The few dull- 
coloured birds cared no more for me than they did for 
the great tortoises." "We have a great deal more from 
Mr. Darwin about these huge hideous reptiles, whether 
tortoises or lizards, that is very interesting and strange. 
Both seem to swarm. The tortoises for food are open to 
capture at any time. "It is said that formerly single 
vessels have taken away as many as seven hundred, and 
that the ship's company of a frigate some years since 
brought down in one day two hundred tortoises to the 
beach." Vapour-crowned volcanic heights studded with 
orifices ; miles and miles of black lava, red scorise, and dusty 
cinders ; great black or yellow-hideous lizards sleeping 
in the sun ; huge monsters of tortoises lazily crawling 
along paths they have worn through centuries to where 
water lies : how startling it must be in the midst of such 
lonely weird sights as these to come suddenly on the 
ghastly gleaming skull of a buccaneer captain who had 
been murdered by his crew ! 

One cannot wonder that such a region as this went 
to the heart of Mr. Darwin, and remained ever afterwards 
with him a constant problem of the most intent and 
absorbing interest, — one cannot wonder that it was here 
he found the motive for his peculiar theory. The spot 
was solitary and remote ; and what life there was upon 
it, seemed to have for him only a strange, unnatural, and 


old - world look. The possible influence of isolation, 
simply as isolation, Mould probably firsl occur to him; 
and then, perhaps, the question, if the isolation had been 
the source of so many changed forms, how was it that 
there were others which had remained seemingly un- 
changed? Such conjectures appear at least not alien to 
the genius of a Darwin; but we must postpone our further 
consideration of these matters till the next week. 


The action — South American types, left here to themselves, change 
into new species from accumulation of their own individual 
spontaneous differences — The birds — Differences in the times 
and modes of arrival between land and sea birds — Carte and 
tierce — Contradiction — Parried by a word — An advocate's proof 
— The printer and Mr. Darwin's woulds — The sea-gull — The 
finches — Sir William Jardine — The process to Darwin — What 
was to him " a new birth " — Where the determinative advantage 
for these different beaks — The individual central islands not 
incommunicably separate — French birds at Dover — Isolation — 
Ex-contrario — Individual difference the single secret, that is 
the "law" which has been "discovered" of "natural selection' 
— Apply influence of external conditions to the Galapagos- 
Kant — The Galapagos rat and mouse — New beings but yet the 
old names — If difference goes always on only to difference 
without return to identity, why are there not infinitely 
more species ? — Bowen — Darwin only empedoclean — Parsons 
— Lyell — Monsters (giants and dwarfs) sterile — Frederick's 
grenadiers, the pygmies — Divergent species at home— The 
Galapagos but the Mr. Jorkins of the Darwinians — The tortoise, 
where did it come from 1 — The amblyrhyncus similarly inex- 
plicable — Lizards of the secondary epoch — The Galapagos 
Islands absolutely without a vestige of the struggle for life in 
any direction — The breeder, and nature, can act only on what 
is already there — The breeder deals in identity, not difference, 
and his breeds would all turn back to the original — No breeder 
a new species — Nature acts not on Darwin's method, but design 
— Toothed birds, the hipparion, the otter-sheep — Accidental 
individual difference to be the sole creator in the end of all 
that enormous and infinitely complicated concert to unity! — 

Being now possessed of some idea of the scene of the 
action, we may proceed forthwith to this latter itself. 


And that is, to this sole effect: That South American 
types of life became, in process of time, specifically 
changed in these islands of the Galapagos, in consequence 
of their isolation, as well partial as total. The types 
particularly selected to be dwelt on are the birds. "In 
the Galapagos Islands," says Mr. Darwin in the Origin 
(348), "there are 26 land-birds; of these 21 (or perhaps 
23) are peculiar, whereas of the 11 marine birds only 2 
are peculiar ; " and this difference Air. Darwin explained 
by difference in the numbers of the immigration and 
in the times of it. "Species," he said, "occasionally 
arriving after long intervals of time in a new and isolated 
district, and having to compete with new associates, 
would be eminently liable to modification, and would 
often produce groups of modified descendants." "We are 
to understand, that is, this to have been the case with 
the land-birds: they only " occasionally " arrived "after 
long intervals of time," and they had to "compete with 
new associates." As for the sea-birds, the excess of m>n- 
modification in them was due, it is said, "partly" to 
their " having immigrated in a body, so that their 
mutual relations were not much disturbed," and "partly 
to the frequent arrival of unmodified immigrants from 
the mother-country, with which the insular forms have 
intercrossed." We see here that invariable felicity of 
Mr. Darwin that, if there is a foin in carte, it is as 
swiftly followed up by a fence in tierce. Few immi- 
grants, at long intervals, give us modification — carte ; but 
many immigrants, at frequent intervals, quite as much 
withdraw modification — tierce! .Air. Darwin blows hut 
and cold with equal vigour. It i- <>nl\ fair to observe, 
however, that Air. Darwin has a reason why sea-birds 
have immigrated differently from land-birds. " It is 
obvious," he says, "that marine birds could arrive at 
these islands much more easily and frequently than land- 


birds." But even here, in his own facts, is there not 
pretty well his own contradiction ? If marine birds can 
immigrate more easily and frequently than land-birds, it 
at least sounds strange that, while there are 26 of the 
land, there are only 11 of the sea. It is quite possible, 
of course, as regards new species that the many come 
from the few, and, contrariwise, the few from the many. 
No one can doubt, at any rate, that Mr. Darwin's 
ingenuity could make it appear so. He can find a word 
at any moment that is an open sesamb to any difficulty. 
He says himself that, from end to end of it, his Origin 
of Species is " one long argument." And so it is ! 
From end to end of it, it is what the Germans call an 
Advocatcnbcweis : from end to end of it, it is an advocate's 
proof. Even in what lies at this moment before us, just 
in the same way as we saw already, he that continues to 
read will find almost every proposition conditioned by a 
vjould. It is always this would take place, and that 
would take place. In point of actual fact, there are so 
many moulds in Mr. Darwin's books on natural selection, 
that one may be forgiven if one finds oneself speculating, 
with some curiosity, about the resources of a printer's 
fount. In this reference, and as concerns the many 
from the few or the few from the many, would it be 
unfair to say that one would not expect such an animal 
as a gull to be one of the only two remarkably modified 
sea-birds ? One would expect it to arrive always in very 
large numbers, and on occasions of very frequent 
occurrence. From the known habits of the gull, one 
would expect this almost more in its case than in that of 
any other sea-bird — one would really, least of all, expect 
the gull to be the exceptional sea-bird to display in the 
Galapagos even as much modification as the land-birds. 
Mr. Darwin himself cannot help exclaiming here, " Con- 
sidering the wandering habits of the gulls, I was surprised 


to find that the species inhabiting these islands is 
peculiar." It is a situation and a circumstance naturally 
to give exit to a whole flight of woulds and would nots ! 
{Journal, 380). 

But if the birds at the Galapagos are peculiarly 
selected for remark, of these it is the finches that, as 
Mr. Darwin would have it, are specially to be considered. 
" Ornithology — curious finches," are his own words in 
the heading of the chapter in his Journal. Of the twenty- 
six land-birds, in fact, the finches are so remarkable that 
they constitute one half of them. In the Oalapagos 
Islands there are no less than thirteen new species of 
finches; and Mr. Darwin is so much impressed with 
them that he illustrates his description of them in the 
Journal by actual drawings of them. I have the book 
here, and they may be seen. The figures given are very 
evidently heads of finches even as we know them in this 
country. No. 1 refers to the Gcospiza magnirostris, and is 
distinguished by a very full large beak. The beak of 
No. 2, the Geospiza fortis, is less large, but still strong. 
That of No. 3, the Geospiza parvula, is very much Buch 
as we may see in our own finches, sparrows, or even 
canaries. The beak of No. 4 is small and sharp, almost 
as in our own wrens. Between Nos. 1 and 3, it appears, 
there is not only one, but actually six intermediate 
species. "The perfectly graduated series in the size of 
their beaks," Mr. Darwin calls "a probable consequence 
of their numbers;" and it is by reason of these numbers 
that "one might really fancy," he says, " that from an 
original paucity of birds in this archipelago, one species 
had been taken and modified for different ends." Now. 
in these four finch heads we have what, in the mind of 
Mr. Darwin, was the motive and the generative speck of 
the whole ultimate theory. Because he found in these 
islands so many finches, and in the different islands 



different ones, Mr. Darwin was led to speculate on their 
possible origin. There was a common analogy in all of 
them ; and that analogy was an analogy that bore only 
on a certain South American type. The obvious in- 
ference, accordingly, was that all these finches, however 
much they were modified, had been actually modified, one 
and all of them, out of a single characteristic type ; and 
that type was to be found only in South America. As 
one sees, it is at once assumed here that the thirteen 
different finches constitute or represent thirteen different 
species ; and, consequently, the first thing it occurs to us 
to ask is, What is a species ? We remember how Mr. 
Darwin was himself put to it to determine a species in his 
Cirrepedes, and how he needs must laugh at his brother 
naturalists in the same endeavour generally. We are 
told that, be the differences what they may, these birds 
always bear to each other the closest resemblance. The 
thirteen males are all black, the thirteen females are all 
brown, and they are to be found, all, or the most of them, 
feeding together. We really should like to know if they 
cannot pair together. Mr. Darwin is chagrined ; but it 
does not, at least at first sight, seem unnatural that Sir 
William Jardine, I suppose the greatest ornithological 
authority, thought that " some of the Galapagos so-called 
species ought to be called varieties," and that " some of 
the sub-genera, supposed to be wholly endemic, have been 
found on the continent " (ii. 246). On the whole, we 
really should like to know on what it was that the 
specific difference turned for Mr. Darwin himself. This 
is plain that, if they were not species, and species en- 
demic to the Galapagos, Mr. Darwin must have made a 
bad start. But suppose them species, and that they were 
not specially or directly created, as seems to Mr. Darwin 
(though not to us), the only other alternative, how does 
he conceive his own process of modification, the pullula- 


tion of differences, to have naturally evolved them ? As 
we see, and as is insisted on, they vary in their beaks. 
Is it there that Air. Darwin finds his peculiar pulse ? 
In the Life and Letters, he expressly exemplifies to us 
what he would call " a new birth." It is " a lard born 
with a beak ~th of an inch longer than usual." That, 
evidently, to him is a good instance of the first step in a 
pullulation of differences. May we suppose, then, that 
he sees the beaks of these finches pullulate and pullulate 
into the new species which he describes and draws in his 
book ? If Mr. Darwin asserts it, we cannot deny it. 
But When we look at his own pictures, great beaks, strong 
beaks, small beaks, tiny beaks, may we be allowed to ask 
on which side we shall assume the determinative " ad- 
vantage " to lie — the determinative " advantage " that is 
always postulated in the theory ? Shall it be the great 
beaks that have pullulated into strength, or shall it be 
the small beaks that have pullulated into fineness ? We 
know that Mr. Darwin regards the isolation of these 
islands precisely as the one determining condition of this 
growth of species. But that being so, we cannot but 
recognise that his very condition must blow quite as 
vigorously cold as hot— fence quite as securely in tierce 
as in carte. If the strong and great are clue to it, so 
also are the small and fine. Mr. Darwin sees so much 
potency in the isolation, and lays so much stress on it, 
that he attributes to it, not only the general difference of 
life in the archipelago from life on the continent, but 
even the individual difference of life on one island as 
compared with life on another. "By far the must 
remarkable feature in the natural history of this archi- 
pelago is, that the different islands to a considerable 
extent are inhabited by a different set of beings" (:'. , .>4); 
" Several of the islands possess their own species" (397) ; 
"Different islands have their representatives of Geospvsa '' 


the finch (395). To such expressions as these Mr. 

Darwin adds others to the effect that, in his belief, these 
islands are incommunicably cut off the one from the 
other. This latter circumstance, as in the interest of the 
view which it is his dearest wish to impress, he is even 
at some pains, in his usual colouring way, at least to 
accentuate. In the Origin, these islands, he says, " are 
separated by deep arms of the sea, in most cases wider 
than the British Channel : the currents of the sea are 
rapid, and sweep between the islands, and gales of wind 
are extraordinarily rare ; so that the islands are far 
more effectually separated from each other than they 
appear on a map." Now, as regards distances, the 
statement here must be confined to what I have called 
the outlying islands: it is wholly out of place when 
referred to those in the centre. At most, five or 
six miles will bring all the latter into connection, the 
one with the other; and these five or six miles 
concern only the separation of two from the other five 
islands, while, otherwise, all are very much nearer 
each other than even five or six miles. The Gala- 
pagos Islands, therefore, specially at least those that 
constitute Mr. Darwin's references, are not separated by 
arms of the sea " in most cases wider than the British 
Channel," which is a gap of twenty-five miles. Then the 
currents between may be " rapid ; " but, in that respect, 
they must vary much with different states of the tides. 
Lastly, as regards gales of wind, they may be " rare ; " 
but the very phrase allows them from time to time to 
exist. Nay, the very lizards would seem, numerous as 
they are, to be somewhat dependent on storms for their 
support. " They consume," says Mr, Darwin, " much of 
the succulent cactus, the branches of which are occasionally 
broken off by the wind ! " We may remember, too, that 
the craters on these islands have their windward sides 


" either much lower than the other sides, or quite broken 
down and removed in consequence of the combined 
action of the Pacific swell and the southern Trades." 
Gales of wind, then, may be " extraordinarily rare ; " but 
they do happen, and we can hardly conclude with Mr. 
Darwin, from the mere rarity of them, that " neither the 
birds, insects, nor lighter seeds would be blown from 
island to island." On the contrary, it does seem precisely 
certain that seeds, insects, and birds would, from time to 
time, not possibly escape being blown from island to 
island. But what of the prevailing serenity and calm ? 
Mr. Darwin describes, in the Origin (356), many of the 
birds as specially well adapted for flying from island to 
island : are we to suppose that two, or three, or five, or 
six miles would not, in such circumstances, prove to all 
such birds rather a temptation and an attraction than an 
intimidation and restraint ? Even the British Channel 
was but a step to the French birds that covered the cliffs 
of Dover when libcrtt, 6galiU, fratemiU took, during 
the Bevolution, to slaughtering them. On the whole, 
whether we look to Mr. Darwin's own measures or to 
Mr. Darwin's own facts, we are without any warrant to 
conclude that, in the Galapagos, island, isolated from 
island, stands a region of its own. 

For the most part, Mr. Darwin is very resolute in his 
faith in isolation as a main element or agency in the 
birth of species ; but there are times, especially latterly, 
when he actually seems to vacillate. He writes to 
Hooker in 1844 : " Isolation is the chief concomitant or 
cause of the appearance of new forms." As late as 1876, 
" it would have been a strange fact," he exclaims (iii 
159), "if I had overlooked the importance of isolation, 
seeing it was such cases as that of the Galapagos which 
chiefly led me to study the origin of species." Still, 
four years earlier, we can get such an avowal as this from 


him (iii. 156): "I rejoice to think that I formerly said 
as emphatically as I could, that neither isolation nor 
time by themselves do anything for the modification of 
species." What, however, is really emphatical here 
ought to fall on the words " by themselves." The 
declaration alluded to occurs in the fourth chapter of 
the Origin. There we find isolation described as " an 
important element in the modification of species," but 
not as an absolutely necessary and indispensable element. 
It is only important as giving the chance for variation. 
That, too, is the role of time in the process ; and, says Mr. 
Darwin, " it has been erroneously asserted that the 
element of time has been assumed by me to play an all- 
important part in modifying species, as if all the forms of 
life were necessarily undergoing change through some innate 
law." No ; it is neither isolation, nor time, nor " innate- 
law " that shall be allowed to interfere with what to Mr. 
Darwin, as to Mr. Huxley, is the central idea and 
quintessence of the system, individual difference. That — 
individual difference — is the law of natural selection 
which has been discovered; and years only corroborate and 
confirm Mr. Darwin's allegiance to the purity ot it. So 
it is that he says in 1876 (iii. 159) — no doubt with 
isolation in his mind — " I cannot doubt that many new 
species have been simultaneously developed within the 
same large continental area ; " while, two years later, as 
regards individual difference he writes (iii. 161) in this 
strong way : " As our knowledge advances very slight 
differences, considered by sytematists as of no importance 
in structure, are continually found to be functionally 
important." Evidently, it is more and more what de- 
pends on difference that occupies his thought and absorbs 
his attention. Nevertheless it was certainly isolation in 
the first place, the isolation of the Galapagos, that 
availed to suggest to him the possibility of new species 

KANT. 391 

forming themselves, or being formed, on the ordinary 
terms that are usual in nature. Then, undoubtedly, it 
had appeared to him that a changing organism, if left to 
itself, uncrossed and uninterfered with, would be in the 
precise position favourable for the transmutation of itself 
into a new species. Isolation might not create species, 
or could not create species, but it would be at all events 
the peculiar feeding-ground in which species, through 
the manifestation and accumulation of difference, would 
create itself. 

If it is in the interest of modification, difference, 
as the centre of the theory, that Mr. Darwin may seem 
somewhat to vacillate as regards isolation, we may 
recollect that we saw some similar vacillation in respect 
to external conditions. In the first instance he appeared 
to have an implacable aversion to all such conditions 
as climate, etc., having had anything to do with the 
modification of organisms. By and by, as to Moritz 
Wagner in 1876, he admits that, in regard to "the 
direct action of the environment, there is now a large 
body of evidence." Well, now, is there any reason why 
we may not apply that here ? Everything was strange 
and new in these islands — how strange, how new ! 
Craters and caverns, and black lava, and red scoria;, and 
salt pools — suffocating heat — brown brushwood even 
when in flower, that smelt sickly — huge tortoises crawl- 
ing, more than fourteen stone in weight — big black and 
yellow lizards on the rocks or in the cinders by thousands 
— how could we expect to find anything whatever the 
same here? "In birds of the same species which have 
to live in different climates," says Kant (JJ'jr. vi. 321), 
"there are provisions for the growth of a new (Mating of 
feathers, should certain of them inhabit a cold climate, 
which provisions, however, in a temperate climate, are 
kept in reserve. Since wheat, in a cold country, must 


have more protection from wet and cold than in a dry 
and warm one, it possesses a natural capability of cloth- 
ing itself in a gradually thicker integument. This 
forethought of nature, by calculated precautions, to 
prepare its creature for all future contingencies, in order 
that it may preserve itself and adapt itself to the diver- 
sity of climate and soil, is a just subject of wonder, and, 
with the migrations and transplantations of animals and 
plants, gives rise to new species in appearance, which 
are nothing else than races and varieties of the same 
kind, the natural, inborn capacities of which have 
variously developed themselves in long periods of time 
according to occasion." Thus, then, for the production 
of apparent new species, Kant points to innate original 
nature as respondent to the influence of the varying 
external conditions ; whereas Mr. Darwin, for an equal 
result, depends on "accumulation of individual differ- 
ences," and that, too, only " spontaneously," only by 
" accident," only by " chance," as, for example, in " a 
bird born with a beak j^th of an inch longer than usual." 
But, after all, was not Mr. Darwin coming round to 
Kant's way of it, when, as late as 1876, he confesses 
(iii. 159): "In my opinion the greatest error which I 
have committed, has been not allowing sufficient weight 
to the direct action of environment, i.e. food, climate," 
etc. ? In his earlier days, indeed, Mr. Darwin did 
admit as much as this even for the Galapagos. He 
found in them, he says, only two mammals, a rat and 
a mouse. The rat has evidently been imported, Mr. 
Darwin says, and " is merely a variety, produced by the 
new and peculiar climate, food, and soil to which it has 
been subjected" (378); nor, as regards the mouse, are 
we left in any doubt that his opinion was identical. 
Now, Mr. Darwin tells us in the Origin (113), that the 
rat and the mouse " have been transported by man to 


many parts of the world; they live under the cold 
climate of Faroe in the north and of the Falklands in 
the south, and on many an island in the torrid zones." 
If, then, the strange environment of the Galapagos could 
so change forms so persistent as these, that the one may 
almost he allowed to rank, and the other does rank, as a 
new species, why Bhonld we resort to a different genesis 
for the birds and the rest? Mr. Darwin says of these 
islands (Journal, '■'•17 and 393) that in them "a vast 
majority of all the land animals, and more than half of 
the flowering plants, are aboriginal productions : it was 
most striking to be surrounded by new birds, new 
reptiles, new shells, new insects, new plants!" Mr. 
Darwin says this; he calls all these animals and plants 
new; and yet he gives to the whole of them all the old 
names! Of the twenty-six birds, thirteen are finches, 
three are mocking thrushes, and three tyrant fly-catchers, 
two are owls, and two are swallows; there are a hawk, 
and a wren, and a dove. If the animals themselves 
are new, and if, as Mr. Darwin says also, "most of 
the organic productions are aboriginal creations, found 
nowhere else," so that " we seem to be brought somewhat 
near to that great fact — that mystery of mysteries — the 
first appearance of new beings on this earth" (378), — 
how is it that we have in our ears all the old familiar 
sounds, and see before our eyes only all the old familiar 
names? New creations should be new creations, and 
quite unlike the old — new creations, consequently, sin add 
have names of their own, and not only misleadingly 
carry the appellatives of creations past. If, indeed, the 
peculiarities here have led Mr. Darwin to the discovery 
of the true rationale of creation, how is it that we have 
more to surprise us than even this Btrange matter of 
names \ — how is it that new creations are not much 
more common experiences { In each of the million 


upon million of individuals that exist always and every- 
where upon our globe an accumulation of differences 
ought to be going on constantly — ought to be the one 
event ; and species, consequently, ought, by this time 
of day, to be absolutely innumerable. Something like 
this objection has been already made to Mr. Darwin ; 
and, though he says little, I think he shows himself 
sensitive to it. Professor Bowen of Harvard writes 
once, " If the doctrine were true, geological strata would 
be full of monsters which have failed." Whereat Mr. 
Darwin contemptuously scoffs : " A very clear view 
this writer " (whom he afterwards styles " a singularly 
unobservant man ") " had of the struggle for existence " 
(ii. 304, 372)! We have only here again, however, the 
earliest — the Greek— suggestion of the struggle for ex- 
istence and the survival of the fittest unwittingly come 
upon by Mr. Darwin. Empedocles fabled, as we have 
seen, that all sorts of organisms spontaneously take birth, 
but only those survive which are fit ; and that is pre- 
cisely the import of Mr. Darwin's scoff to Bowen : In 
the struggle for existence, namely, monsters would dis- 
appear. Professor Parsons, also of Harvard, seems to 
have repeated Bowen's objection. Mr. Darwin calls his 
whole paper "worth nothing" (ii. 331); but at the 
same time he writes, on the same day, to another corre- 
spondent, " If you see Professor Parsons, will you thank 
him for the extremely liberal and fair spirit in which his 
essay is written ? Please tell him I reflected much on 
the chance of favourable monstrosities," etc. Now these 
two professors are outsiders ; but it is a strange thing 
that Sir Charles Lyell, who is no outsider, makes also 
to Mr. Darwin precisely the same objection (ii. 290). 
' You ask (I see)," writes Darwin to Lyell, " why we do 
not have monstrosities in higher animals ? but when they 
live they are almost always sterile (even giants and 


dwarfs are generally sterile)." There is a little addition 
h ere — sterility — to the Empedoclean idea; but may we 
not attempt to take the point off it, in Mr. Darwin's own 
manner, by counter-instances? To say "generally" is 
to say too much; for we know that the inhabitants of 
Potsdam are a tall race, inasmuch as they are the de- 
scendants of the Prussian king's seven-foot, eight-foot, 
and nine-foot grenadiers; and as for dwarfs, we are just 
on the point of hearing from Mr. Stanley about a whole 
nation of such, who, under the name of pygmies, have 
been fighting the cranes since the beginning of history ! 

But as regards the Galapagos organisms bearing the 
same names as those elsewhere — as regards the Gala- 
pagos birds, for example, being for the most part finches, 
one wonders that Mr. Darwin should have had any call 
to find his idea only in them or their neighbours. We 
have plenty of divergent species — finches, wrens, linnets, 
etc. — at home. "Why go so far afield for an idea that 
we may find within our own doors? Nay, what, after 
all, does the whole thing come to ? How is it that we 
are brought face to face with that mystery of mysteries, 
creation, any more here than, absolutely, anywhere else ? 
No doubt Mr. Darwin's words have a peculiar excitation 
f or us — "somewhat near to that mystery of mysteries, 
the first appearance of new beings on this earth '. " We 
breathlessly read further, we feel an awe as though on 
the point of seeing the very veil at last upraised from 
the countenance of the universe, the secret of the birth 
of all the beings that have lived, the secret of the birth 
of man — is it any wonder that we are coerced, and con- 
strained, and surprised into a mere " pshaw ! " in the end, 
when all that we come to are these four Bnchea ! It 
has been well for the friends of Mr. Darwin that the 
Galapagos archipelago has been kept, as the ultimate 
referee, only in its own cloud. It was uncommonly con- 


venient for Mr. Spenlow, in David Coppcrficld, to be able 
on occasion to point conclusively upstairs to the unseen 
Mr. Jorkins. Once seen, however, the terrible Mr. 
Jorkins proved to be the most harmless of mortals. 
Even so the Galapagos, when seen, are not seen to take 
us one step nearer the mystery of life. We have seen 
what has been said of the birds ; but is it any better with 
the reptiles ? The huge tortoise is called " aboriginal ; " 
" it is found nowhere else in this quarter of the world ; " 
" it may be questioned," Mr. Darwin avows, " whether it 
is in any other place an aboriginal." One asks with 
astonishment, then, where did it come from ? No South 
American type will account for it here. And, pullula- 
tion of individual differences ! are we to suppose that it 
pullulated out of the bare rock ? Of what avail is the whole 
theory in such a case ? Then are we one whit better off 
with the lizard, the amblyrhyncus ? Mr. Darwin speaks of 
its progenitor " arriving " at the Galapagos ; but he adds, 
" from what country it is impossible to say, as its affinity, 
I believe, is not very clear to any known species " (ii. 
336). That is, he has no warrant but his own sup- 
position for speaking of it as even " arriving." He warns 
the geologist who may " refer back in his mind " to the 
monstrous lizards of the Secondary epochs, " that this 
archipelago, instead of possessing a humid climate and 
rank vegetation, as was the case then, cannot be considered 
otherwise than extremely arid, and, for an equatorial region, 
remarkably temperate." From Secondary lizard to Gala- 
pagos lizard, were connection even possible, that is a vast 
difference, an incalculable difference, is it possible to sup- 
pose that the pullulation of difference could ever bridge it ? 
We have seen that Mr. Darwin speaks of the struggle 
for existence as an essential element of the theory, and 
we know it otherwise to be such ; what countenance, 
then, does the very feeding ground, and breeding ground, 


and originating ground of natural selection show it f 1 
Why, none absolutely none.* Throughout the whole of 
the Galapagos archipelago there is not a vestige of the 
struggle for existence — not a trace! We have attempted 
to make good that there are storms of wind; but th< 

Mr. Darwin Bays, are "extraordinarily rare." Then 
there is heat, but it is temperate, and, for the most part, 
there is no rain. The birds live there, if anywhere on 
earth, in perfectly halcyon weather, and they have all 
food; they have never the slightest occasion in that 
respect to afifecl the slightest quarrel with one another. 
Nor is it otherwise with the only other inhabitants, tin- 
lizards and tortoises. "The numbers of individuals of 
each species are extraordinarily great." Of the lizards, 
Mr. Darwin remarks, their numbers are such that "we 
could not for some time find a spot tree from their bur- 
rows on which to pitch our tent." ''This reptile," la- 
says, "has no enemy whatever on shore." "They are 
not at all timorous." As they crawl, " they often stop 
and do/e for a minute or two." " I have seen," say- Mr 
Darwin, " these lizards and the huge tortoises feeding 
together." "I have seen," he says again, "one of the 
thick-billed finches picking at one end of a piece of 
cactus, while a lizard was eating at the other end; and 
afterwards the little bird, with the utmost indifference, 
hopped on the back of the reptile." Only "if two are 
placed on the ground and held together, they will fight 
and bite each other; but I," adds Mr. Darwin, "caught 
many by the tail, and they never tried to bite nie." 
The tortoises have "broad ami well-beaten paths in everj 
direction from the wells down to the sea-coast : it was a 
curious spectacle to behold many of these huge creati 
one set eagerly travelling onwards with outstretched 
necks, and another set returning after having drunk their 
fill." " I frequently got on their backs/' Bays Mr. Darwin, 


" and then giving a few raps on the hinder part of their 
shells, they would rise up and walk away." The female 
" drops her eggs indiscriminately in any hole" — she has 
no fear for them ! To this entire scene of peace, and 
calm, and indolent enjoyment it cannot be said that even 
the hawk, " the carrion-feeding buzzard " as it is otherwise 
called, is a single exception ; for only the young, newly- 
hatched tortoises are its prey. As for the old ones, they 
" seem generally to die from accidents, as from falling 
down precipices." It is maintained that nobody had 
ever found any one of them dead " without some evident 
cause." All living things on these islands, birds and all, 
even the carrion-buzzard, are of a tameness in the ex- 
treme : " all of them often approached sufficiently near 
to be killed with a switch, a cap, or a hat — a gun is here 
almost superfluous ; for with the muzzle I (Mr. Darwin) 
pushed a hawk (the carrion-buzzard) off the branch of a 
tree ! " 

I need go no farther, probatum est ; the case is now 
complete. This archipelago, whatever it was in the way 
of suggestion to Mr. Darwin himself, can hardly be 
allowed, so far as I see, to be anything better than a 
Mr. Spenlow's Jorkins to anybody else. As for " the 
central idea, the quintessence of Darwinism," the pullu- 
lation of differences, it is quite possible, as Mr. Darwin 
suggests, that there might be " a bird born with a beak 
i^th of an inch longer than usual ; " but is the con- 
ception of such initial step enough to enable us to picture 
even in imagination the eventual production of all those 
beaks, to say nothing of the various birds themselves ? 
Individual does differ from individual ; no two indivi- 
duals are perfectly alike. Manifestly, then, there is 
development of difference, of difference after difference, 
of differences infinite. But is it so certain, as Mr. 
Darwin will have it, that difference goes on — that 


difference adds to itself — that difference never stops — 
till there emerges — what? — its own opposite, an iden- 
tity, a fixed new identity that actually propagates Its 
own identity, as a species, before onr eyes, illimitably '. 
But does the difference go on only so '. — does the difference 
add to itself only so ? If there is advance of difference 
into a new, is there not return of difference into the old, 
identity? We can see the latter at every minute of the 
day, and on all sides of us ; but we never see the former 
— never have seen the former. No man, not even a 
breeder, has ever seen the former. A breeder, if he is to 
breed, must have his material to work on; he knows 
that to effect the modifications he wants, he can only 
take advantage of what is already there. Nay, ii is nol 
by the accumulation of differences that the breeder 
effects his purposes, but by the accumulation of identities. 
If he wants wool, he adds wool to wool; if he wants 
flesh, he adds flesh to flesh; if he wants bone, he adds 
bone to bone; if he wants weight, he adds weight to 
weight; if he wants speed, he adds speed to speed. But 
do as he may, the breeder knows well that, but for his 
artifices, his breeds would all turn back again to whal 
they were at first. You must keep the coal up, if you 
would keep the fire up. But with all his skills, and all 
his contrivances, and all his perseverances, no breeder has 
ever yet produced a new species. We do not deny, any 
more than Kant, that nature can produce new -pedes: 
we only deny that nature has no secret fur the process 
but the accumulation of the differences of accident. We 
know no proof of this — toothed bird-, the hipparion 
itself, and even the wonderful "Otter" sheep notwith- 
standing. We claim design for nature, whatever we 
admit ! 

Mr. Darwin follows up his suggestion of the accident, 
the chance, of his 100th of an inch more than usual, in 


this emphatic way (iii. 33) : " The- more I work, the more 
I feel convinced that it is by the accumulation of such 
extremely slight variations that new species arise." That 
is as much as to assert that, out of an accidental speck 
of proteine, the accidental pullulation of difference (mere 
difference) produced, — without design, — mechanically, as 
it were, — you and me, the circulation of the blood, the 
respiration of the lungs, the action of a brain ! 

But I must break off here : these lectures are now at 
an end. It was to expound Natural Theology that this 
place was given me. The proofs for the being of a God 
are Natural Theology. These proofs I followed histori- 
cally, on the affirmative side, with some fulness, almost 
from first to last. On the negative side, I had to make 
a selection of what history offered me there ; but I 
endeavoured to meet the want by the production of what, 
on the whole, are generally and publicly esteemed the 
three authoritative degrees of the relative argumentation. 

I beg to thank you for the great attention with which 
you have always honoured me, and to bid you respect- 
fully, Farewell ! 


Alll'AI.UAlIMAN III., 275. 

Abstraction, 136. 
Action and reaction, 49, 

Jity, 126. 
Addison, 224, 231. 
Advanced views, 14, l. r >, 222. 
Affirmative, 35. 
Agia, 22G, 230. 
Agnosticism, 15. 
Agrippa, 68. 
Alexandria, 166. 
Alphonso of Castile. ~. 7. 272. 
Amalrich, 117. 
Analogy, 268. 

joras, 39, 46-49, 55, 60, 

67, 72, 73, 77, SO, 220, 346. 
Anselm, 33, 34, 45, 173, 177-1 
Antisthenes, 345, 347. 
Antithesis, 49, 160. 
Aviosto, 236. 
Aristophanes, 221. 
Aristotle, 33, 41, 45, 49, 54, 60 

77, SO, 82, S3, 96, 97. 12 1- 

220, 236, 238, 346-3 1'.'. 
Aristoxenus, 220. 
Arnobius, 180. 
Ascent, The, 137. 
Astronomy, 32, 33, 76-80. 
Athanasius, 181, 347. 
Atheists, 219, 221, 283, 37 \. 
Athenagoras, 182. 
Attraction, 50. 
Aufklarung, 14-10, 115 124, 

163, 215, 232. 
Augustine, 23, 28, 32-34, 1-'.'. 

. 347. 
Augustus, 108. 
AulusGellus, 29. L60, L78. 

. 66, 


BA( on, Lobd, 19, .".l 

96, 117, 220. 
Baghavad Gita, • 
Bakewell, Robert, 331, 332. 

Baumgarten, 1 1 s . 
Baur,I\ C, 182. 
Beaks, 3s7 sq., 392, 39 
Bear, 360. 
Begnff, 11, 12, 13. 
Bekker, 154. 
Belief, 17. 

Bequest, T\ 

Berkeley, 67, 249, 354. 

:. St.. 202. 

Bible, The, 24, 28, 36, 1 19, 17". 

181, 308, 
Biese, L53. 

Blackie, Professor, 156, 17."'. 
Blair, Dr. Bug] . 

232, 235, 244. 

ius, 190. 
Bonitz, 151. 
Hunks, Sacred, 18. 

I. 10^, 109. 

>'■ /. Tip'. 

How.]:. . 39 1. 

Brandis, 15 i. 
Bridgewater Tn 
Brougham, Lord, 
Brown, Dr. Thomas, 1. 

ting, 17. 



Bruno, G., 69. 

Buckle, 19, 49, 108, 223, 239. 

Button, 150. 

Burke, 241. 

Burns, 284. 

Burton, 280, 281. 

Byron, 144, 373. 

Bythos, 37. 

Oesak, Julius, 174, 272. 

Caesar, The, 164. 

Cain, 16, 19. 

I !aligula, 272. 

Calvin, 117. 

Carlyle, 16, 17, 74, 80, 81, 120-122 

204, 213, 273, 276, 284. 
Carpenter, Dr., 370. 
Catechism, The Shorter, 12, 13. 
Categories, 68, 294 sqq. 
Catullus, 234. 
Causality, 278-283, 292 sqq. 
Causes, the Four, 41-44, 49-52, 54, 

103, 137. 
Cervantes, 17. 

Chambers, Dr. R., 353, 361. 
< harlemont, Lord, 233. 
Charles II., 49. 
Charles V., 274. 
Chaucer, 231. 
Chemistry, 32, 33. 
China, 36. 
Chinese, The, 369. 
Christianity, 27, 34, 166, 204, 208. 
Chrysippus, 160, 171, 257. 
Chrysostom, 180. 
Church, The, 214. 
Churches, The Three, 10, 11. 
Cicero, 23, 28, 108, 148, 168-177, 

220, 225, 236, 245. 
Clarke, 25, 124, 260. 
Cleanthes, 171. 

Clement of Alexandria, 180, 347. 
Colebrooke, 36, 37, 39, 40, 102, 

280, 345. 
Coleridge, 14, 82. 
Comparison, 277. 
Condillac, 82. 

Conditions, 335 sqq., 391 sqq. 
Confucius, 18. 
Consensirs gentium, ] 79. 
Constantine, 161. 

Contingency, 69, 111, 112, 125, 
126, 260, 305 sq., 351 sq. 

Comeille, 231. 
Corporeity, 49. 
Cosmological Argument, 45. 124, 

260 sqq. 
Cowley, 234. 

Creation, 344 sqq., 356, 393 sq. 
Cudworth, 25, 44, 68, 220, 345, 

346, 347. 
Cuvier, 133, 154, 155. 
Cyril of Alexandria, 180. 

Dallas, W. S., 372. 

Dante, 236. 

Darwin, Charles, 127-134, 155, 

219, 278, 323-400. 
Darwin, Dr. Erasmus, 273, 323-400 

Darwin, Mr. Erasmus, 365. 
Darwins, The, 365. 
David of Dinant, 117. 
Davidson, Thomas, 337. 
Day, The— its roar, 201. 
Degrees, The Three, 323, 324. 
Democritus, 159, 219. 
Demosthenes, 225. 
De C'uincey, 28. 
Derham, 25, 36. 

Descartes, 22, 50, 51, 71, 117, 1S8, 
193, 377. 

Design, 57, 93-96, 100, 114, 127- 
137, 150, 168-175. 

Diagoras, 220. 

Dicrearchus, 220. 

Dickens, 396. 

Difference, 103, 353 sqq., 398-400. 

Diogenes, Apol., 87. 

Diogenes Lrertius, 60, 158, 221. 

Douglas, 226-230. 

Dryden, 228, 231, 232. 

EAR. See Eye. 

East, The, 166. 

Eckhart, Meister, 320. 

Ecstasy, 161. 

Egyptians, 29, 369. 

Eleatics, 219. 

Elliot, Sir Gilbert, 244. 

Elliott, Ebenezer, 215. 

Emerson, 4, 82, 199, 200, 206, 210, 

212, 213. 
Empedocles, 134, 219, 270, 384. 
Encyclopedists, 120. 



Energy, 50. 

Engadine, The.. 236. 

Ennius, 168. 

Epictetus, 161. 

Epicurus, 23, 158, "271. 

Epigoniad, 239. 

Erdmann, 72, 142, 186, 192, 281. 

Erigena, Scotus, 267, 268, 282. 

Essay, The Little Moral Philosophy, 

Esse, vivere, intelligere, 25, 319. 
Essenes, 167. 
Ethicality, 88-91. 
Eusebius of I iaesarea, 181. 
Evil, 160, 270 sqq. 
Existence, 62. 
Externalization, 69. 
Eye and Ear, 77, 78, 84-87, 95, 101. 

Faith, 16, 215, 2] 7. 

Falklands, The, 393. 

Families, 364. 

Fanciers, 0.37. 

Faroes, The, 393. 

Fathers, The, 24, 27, 106, 177, 17<>, 

182, 346. 
Fenelon, 25. 
Ferguson, 210. -J. 12. 
Fichte, 80, 151. 
Fielding, 10, 224. 
Filament, 360. 
Finches, 385 sqq. 
Finite, 191. 
Fleming, Dr., ISO. 
Fontenelle, 236. 
Forces, 48, 49. 
Form, 43, 44, 54, 68, 136, 282, 283, 

303 sq. 
Franzius, 154. 
Freewill, 13. 
Fronde, 273. 

Galapagos, The, 332 sqq. 

Gassendi, 51. 
Gaunilo, 185. 
Genealogies, 355, 376-400. 

. : ''7. 
Genlis, Mme. de, 145. 
George IV., 223. 
Germany, 240. 

Gibbon, 118, 120, 202, 22 1, 240, 
211, 275. 

Gifford, Lord, 3-11, 32, 38, I 

197--;] '■. 
Gifford, \\\, 223. 
Gnostics, 37, 38, 167. 
Cud, 5, 6, 19, 22, 23, 24, 

37, 38, 58, 62, 6:;. 7", 126, 138, 

117, 192, 193, 252. 
Gods, Pagan, 28, 29, 98. 
Goethe, 93, 119, 121. 
Goldsmith, 183, 224, 232. 
. The, 106, 107, 160. 
Gray, Asa, 0-J7, 341, 342, 057, 369, 

371, 377. 

. 133, 346. 
Gregory of Nyssa, 181. 
Grew, 25, 36. 
Grote, 67, 267. 

II \M \N\, 118. 

Happiness, 145, 213, 274, 277. 
Hearne, 360. 
Heavens, The, 7 7. 
Hebrew Scriptures, 18, 19. 
Hegel, 15, 187, 280, 319. 
Henry, 241. 
Herder, 118. 
Hi h 1, Sir John, 2 
Hesiod, 37, 40. 
Hexaemeron, 25. 
Heyder, 1 5 1. 
Hilary, :;17. 

History, Course of, 162. 
Hobbes, II, 71, 117. 
I fodgson, 7 1. 
Hoffmann, -'; : ''7. 
Holbach, d', -J.'.-. 
. John, 226, 
Homer, 153, 172, 225. 
Hooker, sir Joseph, 328, 330, 306, 

337, 341, 365, 370. 
Horace, 236. 
Humboldt, 1 1'.'. 
Hume, 14. 1'.'. .".7. 82, 108, 117, 150, 

22q j 222 285 passim I 
Hutcheson, -i-i. 249. 
Huxley, ii2l, 338-343, 37 

Hymn, Aristotle's, 139. 

I 250 sqq., 299 sqq., 368. 

Identity, 103, 27'.'. 



Imagination, 361 sqq. 
Immanent, 60, 64, 152. 
Immortality, 7 2. 

India, 36, 37, 38, 39, 280, 345, 347. 
Infinite, 34, 35, 38, 191. 
Iremeus, 179. 
Isocrates, 174. 
Isolation, 387 sqq. 

Jacobi, 118. 

Jardine, Sir William, 386. 

Jeffrey, Francis, 223. 

Jehovah, 179, 308 sq. 

Jenyns, 370. 

Jericho, 19. 

Jerome, 181. 

Jews, 18, 36. 

John of Damascus, 181. 

Johnson, Dr., 108-112, 183, 224, 

Jonson, Ben, 230, 231. 
Jorkins, Mr., 396. 
Jnlian, Apost., ISO. 
Juvenal, 29. 

Kant, 45, 74-77, 80, 93, 101, 144, 
219, 233, 238, 286-324, 369, 391. 
Kepler, 32. 
Klopstock, 118. 
Krause, 326, 372, 374. 

Lactantius, 180. 

Lagrange, 57. 

Lamarck, 373. 

Lamballe, Princesse de, 273. 

Lao-tse, 36. 

Larm, Des Tages, 201. 

Latinity, 174. 

Lavater, 118. 

Law, No innate, of evolution, 390. 

Lecturer's purview, 7. 

Lectures, The, how laid out, 400. 

Leibnitz, 22, 74, 75, 125, 127, 188. 

Leonidas, 222. 

Lessing, 118. 

Leucippus, 159. 

Lewes, 185, 360, 374. 

Light, 78, 85. 

Linnajus, 133. 

Lizards, 396. 

Locke, 117, 249, 287. 

Xoyoi %1/tio;, 26/ . 

Louis XI., 113. 
Lucretius, 236. 
Luther, 202. 

Lyell, Sir Charles, 328, 336, 337, 
341, 355, 370, 371, 384. 

Macatjlay, Lokd, 223. 
Mackintosh, Sir James, 223. 
Macrobius, 175. 
Mahometanism, 12. 
Maimonides, Moses, 71. 
Malebranche, 259. 
Malthus, 332. 
Mankind, 141. 
Matter, 43, 44, 54, 68, 136, 261, 

267, 303 sq. 
Maxwell, Clerk, 49. 
Mendelssohn, 118. 
Mesmerism, 215. 
Metaphysic, 33, 51-56. 
Meteyard, Miss, 326. 
Method, 358. 
Michelet, 154. 
Middle Ages, 24, 25, 27, 106, 200, 

Mill, John Stuart, 222, 223. 
Milton, 28, 57, 150, 184, 185, 231, 

Mind, 69. 

Minucius Felix, 173. 
Miracles, 17, 18, 214. 
Modification, 344 sq<i. 
Moliere, 236. 
Monks, their life, 202. 
Monotheism, 31, 34, 35, 36, 98. 
Monsters, 394 sqq. 
Montaigne, 24, 25. 
Morality, 88, 91. 
Mormonism, 12. 
Mover, A First, 138. 
Mud-fish, 355, 356. 
Muir, Dr. John, 39. 
Mukharji, Ras biliari, 37. 
Miiller, Fritz, 372. 
Miiller, J. v., 154. 
Miiller, Max, 39. 
Murchison, Sir R. I., 353. 

Nat-oleon, 150. 
Natural Science, 32, 33. 
Nature, 67, 68, 69, 143. 



Necessity, 111, 266. 
Negation, 101. 
Neo-Platonists, 161, 167. 

37 !■ 
Nice, < louncil of, 161. 
Nicolai, 118. 
NTo-God .Men, 16. 
Nous, 16 and passim, 61-67, ! 
Numenins, 106. 

r, 102, 349 sqq. 
Ogle, Dr., 133, 135. 

< Ine and many. 

Ontological Argument, 3I>. 10, 15, 

182 193, 259 sqq. 
Origen, 347. 

( >rigin, The, of species, 3S4. 
Othello, 227-231. 
Ovid, 236. 

< tysters, 353. 

Paine, Thomas, 15, 16. 

Palay, Dr., 25, 26, 30, 36, 168, 368. 

Paley, Mr., 40. 

Pantheism, 62, 63, 64, 207, 211. 

Parnell, 234. 

Parsons, Professor, 353, 384. 

Particular, 70. 

Pentateuch, 356. 

Percy, 73. 

Pericles, 221. 

Phmlo, The, 46, 48. 

Philip of Opuntium, 100. 

Philips, Jt'hi], 373. 

Philister, 226. 

Philo Judaeus, 106, 172. 

Philosophy, 31, 35, 53, 81, 209, 


Philosophy of religion, 26, 27. 

Physical science, 32, 3:;, 34, 239. 

Physical theories, 7:;. 

Physics, 53. 

Picture-thinking, 369. 

Plato, 47. 54. 65, 68, 82, 02, 96- 

114, 159, 300. 
Pliny, 29, 177. 
Plotinus, 32. 

Plutarch, 161, 220, 257, 258. 
Polytheism, 31, 34. 
Pompey, 1"-. 
Pope, 1S3, 226, 231, 232, 234, 236. 

Porphyry, 32. 
Positivo, 11, 1'-', 13. 
Potentiality, 126. 
Practice, ill. 
l'rantl, 151, 174, 1S5. 
I . 107. 

Pri s, Tin', 16. 

The, 30, 31, 
1-2 1!':;, 218, 256-324. 
Proteine, 356, 360. 
Protoplasm, A s j-;0. 

Pygmies, •'!'.'•">. 
Pythagoreans, 23, CI, 167, 21'.'. 

Quantity, 85. 
Quintilian, 234, 213, 246. 

Rabelais, 282. 

Racine, 22-;. 227, 231, 

Rasselas, ^7.">. 

Rationalism, 13-16. 

Ray, 25 

Raymund of Sebonde, 24, . 

36, 218. 
Reason, 1:!,. II. 
Reflection, 162. 

12, 56, 74,80, 181 

282, 2S9. 
Reimarus, 1 I 3. 
Religion, 4, S, 11, 26, 31. 35, 107, 


ion, Pagan, 
Religion, Philosophi of, 26-30. 
Repulsion, 50. 
Revolution, 163. 
Revolution, French, 16. 
Ricardo, 222. 
Richl v .1. !'.. I 19, ! 7 
Roar, Thr, of the day, 
Robertson, L83, 224, 2:::.. 21". 
Rome, I' 1 ' I. 

Sacred Books, 1^. 

Sail- Ml i 

Sandford, Sir D. K., 223. 
Scepticism, 163. 
Schiller, 93, 119. 

-ti.-s, 22. 



Scotch, The, 239. 

Scott, 284. 

Scriptures, 18, 19. 

Schwegler, 67, 151, 165. 

Seals, 360. 

Sects, The, 157-168. 

Secularism, 15. 

Sedgewick, Professor, 369. 

Seghed, The Emperor, 275. 

Selection, Natural, 325, 330 sqq. 

and passim. 
Sender, 118. 
Semper, 337. 
Seneca, 177. 
Septimius Severus, 275. 
Sextus Empiricus, 171. 
Seward, Miss, 326. 
Shakespeare, 59, 210, 226-232. 
Simon of Tournay, 117. 
Singular effect, 255 sqq. 
Skeptics, 157. 
Smith, Adam, 44, 203, 222, 224, 

240, 244, 245, 262, 271, 321. 
Smith, Sydney, 337. 
Smollett, 48, 224, 240, 241. 
Socinians, 117. 

Socrates, 46-50, 65, 87-96, 99. 
Sophists, 115-124. 
Sophists, The, Note on, 165. 
Sophocles, 227. 
Soul, 153. 
Sound, 78, 80, 85. 
Sound views, 7. 
Space, 74-76, 83, 294 sqq. 
Sparta, 222. 

Species, 330 sqq., 386. 

Speculation, 140. 

Spenser, 231. 

Spinoza, 14, 63, 71, 72, 117, 206, 
207, 211, 281. 

Squinting, 362. 

Stahr, 154. 

Stanley, 395. 

State, The, 166. 

Stewart, Duc;ald, 108, 109, 183, 
281, 282, 268, 373. 

Stillingfleet, 25. 

Stobo, 241. 

Stoics, 159. 

Strahan, 244, 245. 

Strato, 220. 

Struggle, 332, and passim, 396- 

Style, 223 sqq., 243 sqq., 248. 

Subject, 102, 349 sqq. 
Subjective, 211. 
Substance, 63, 206, 207. 
Suetonius, 173. 
Superstition, 107-115. 
Swift, Dr., 235. 
Syzygies, 37. 

Tacitus, 177, 236. 
Tages, Des, der laute Larrn, 201. 
Tailor, The, 278. 
Tasso, 236. 
Taste, 225. 
Tauler, 320. 
Tavlor, Thomas, 37. 
Teeth, 96, 129-133. 
Teleological argument, 38, 39, 40, 
45, 46, 56, 93, 262-285, 299-305. 
Terence, 234. 
Tertullian, 180. 
Thales, 219. 
Theologies, 23. 
Theology, 21, 33. 

Theology, Natural, 6, 19, 21-26, 
30-35", 41, 42, 53,55,56, 67, 79, 
80, 84, 170, 198, 256-258, 287. 

Theophilus, 182. 

Theory, 141. 

Therapeutse, 167. 

Thomson, Dr. A., 173. 

Thomson, James, 87, 184. 

Time, 74, 75, 76, 80, 83, 104, 105, 
149, 294 sqq. 

Tortoises, 396. 

Trades, The, 277. 

Trajan, 272. 

Transcendent, 60, 152. 

Trendelenburg, 1 54. 

Trinity, The, 27, 28, 105, 106, 137. 

Ueberweg, 185. 
Understanding, 14. 
Unity, 153. 
Universal, 69, 70. 
Universe, 70. 

Valentines, 37. 
Varro, 23, 24. 
Vedas, 18. 
Vestiges, The, 353. 
Vinnius, 284. 



Vrgil, 225, 231, 236, 284. 
Voet, 284. 

Voltaire, 14, 19, 117. 
Vorstellung, 11, 12, 13. 

Wagner, 336, 391. 
Waitz, 154. 
Waller, 231. 
Weathering, 73. 
IT. stminsfer Rt vu w, 223. 
Whale and Bear, 360. 
Wilkie, 230, 37::. 
Wilkins, 373. 

Wolff, 46, 188, 192. 
Wordsworth, 275. 

World, The, a life, 67, 6S, 69, 77. 

Xenophon, 17, 92, 93. 
VuiM., Dr., 242. 

Zeller, 67, 15 1. 
Zorzi, 68. 


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